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A Guide to obtaining Letters of Administration – where there is no will there is always a way!

When someone dies without a will, Letters of Administration need to be obtained before a representative can pursue a claim on the deceased’s behalf, or distribute the deceased’s estate. A solicitor can be instructed to apply for letters of administration on your behalf, but this can be done yourself.

When are letters of administration needed?

  • When there is no will;
  • When the will is invalid;
  • The executor is unwilling or unable to act.

Who can apply?

The following list sets out who can apply for letters of administration in order of priority:-

  1. Spouse/ Civil Partner
  2. Child of the deceased
  3. Grandchild
  4. Surviving parent
  5. Sibling
  6. Niece/ Nephew
  7. Other surviving relatives.

Unmarried partners cannot apply.

How to apply

If you decided to apply for letters of administration yourself, there are a number of forms that you will need to complete:-

  • Probate Application PA1- this is a 12 page form containing basic information about the deceased
  • Inheritance Tax forms- the form you complete will depend on if Inheritance Tax is due to be paid.
  • IHT205- this form should be completed if you do not anticipate there being any Inheritance Tax due. Inheritance Tax is due when the value of the estate exceeds the threshold, this is currently £325,000.
  • If you do expect Inheritance Tax to be due you should complete Inheritance Tax form “IHT400” and a “Probate summary form” known as form “IHT421”

Copies of all of the forms can be obtained from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs or can be downloaded from their website.

Where to send the forms

  • No Inheritance Tax due – both the PA1 and the IHT205 can be posted to the local Probate Registry with a fee of £90. If the estate is worth less than £5,000 then no fee is needed.

Inheritance Tax due – the PA1 needs to be posted to the local Probate Registry along with a £90 fee, unless the estate is valued under £5,000.

The IHT400 and IHT420 need to be posted to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Interview or attendance at a solicitor’s office

Once the forms have been received at the relevant offices, you will need to attend either an interview at the Probate Registry to confirm the details on the form. Alternatively, you can attend a local solicitor’s office to swear an oath. If you do this, you will need to write ‘solicitors office’ under ‘interview venue’ on the PA1.
You will receive the letters of administration in the post shortly after this has been done.

If you have been affected by the above, contact our expert Medical Negligence team on 0800 888 6888 or [email protected]

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