Call Today to Set Up Your Personal Consulation!
Slide background
Estate Administration
Where a person dies leaving a will appointing an executor, and that executor validly disposes of the property of the deceased within England and Wales, then the estate will go to probate. However, if no will is left, or the will is invalid or incomplete in some way, then administrators must be appointed. They perform a similar role to the executor of a will but, where there are no instructions in a will, the administrators must distribute the estate of the deceased according to the rules laid down by statute and the common trust.

Certain property falls outside the estate for administration purposes, the most common example probably being houses jointly owned that pass by survivorship on the first death of a couple into the sole name of the survivor. Other examples include discretionary death benefits from pension funds, accounts with certain financial institutions subject to a nomination and the proceeds of life insurance policies which have been written into trust. Trust property will also frequently fall outside of the estate but this will depend on the terms of the trust.

Since the Land Transfer Act 1897, the administrator (sometimes known as the administratrix, if female) acts as the personal representative of the deceased in relation to land and other property. Consequently, when the estate under administration consists wholly or mainly of land, the court will grant administration to the heir to the exclusion of the next of kin. In the absence of any heir or next of kin, the Crown has the right to property (other than land) as bona vacantia, and to the land by virtue of the historic land rights of the Crown (and the Duchy of Cornwall and Duchy of Lancashire in their respective areas). If a creditor claims and obtains a Grant of Administration, the court compels him or her to enter into a bond with two sureties that he or she will not prefer his or her own debt to those of other creditors.