Before the estate can be realised and distributed amongst the beneficiaries a GRANT OF PROBATE or LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION will be required.
PROBATE is required where the deceased HAS left a will. The Will has to be “proved” before the Probate Registry of the High Court. Upon completion the executors named in the Will are able to administer the estate.
LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION are required where the deceased HAS NOT left a Will. The deceased is said to have died INTESTATE and the question then arises as to who should administer the estate. Here again application has to be made to the Court, usually by the Next of Kin. The Court, when satisfied as to the claim of the applicant, issues a document (Letters of Administration) appointing the applicant as Administrator of the estate.
WHERE THE ESTATE IS SMALL, it is possible for the assets to be realised without making application for such a Grant. The Probate Registry Office will advise you of the maximum asset value applicable in such circumstances.
CONSULTING A SOLICITOR OR BANK: A solicitor or bank would obtain the appropriate grant and administer the estate. They would require a certified copy of the Entry of Death and any of the following: Deeds, Assurance Policies, Share Certificates and Premium Bonds. They would also require details of any outstanding debts.