When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs. This is called 'administering the estate'.
If the person who has died leaves a will
If the person who has died leaves a will, it will usually name one or more people to act as the executors of the will - that is, to administer their estate.
If you are named as an executor of a will you may need to apply for a grant of probate.
A grant of probate is an official document which the executors may need to administer the estate. It is issued by a section of the court known as the probate registry.
If there is no will
If there is no will (known as dying intestate) the process is more complicated. An application for a grant of letters of administration (an official document, issued by the court, which allows administrators to administer the estate) will need to be made.
The person to whom letters of administration is granted is known as the administrator. The administrator is the person who has the legal right to deal with the affairs of the person who has died, and is determined by a set order of priority.
The administrator will usually be a close relative of the person who has died, if there is one. There may be more than one person who has an equal right to do this. We can provide you with information on the set order of priority.