Letters of Administration

Meaning of letters of administration

Last updated: 23 February 2016

What are letters of administration?

Depending on the case, it is necessary for you to apply for letters of administration rather than probate when you have to deal with the deceased’s estate.

If you are granted letters of administration, you will be called “administrator”. It is necessary to apply for letters of administration in the following cases:

  • The deceased has left no will
  • The will is not valid
  • The will doesn’t name any executors
  • The executors named on the will do not want to act

In case there’s a valid will, you can still apply to be an administrator if:

  • The deceased left all of their estate to you in the will and
  • The executors are not named, unwilling to act or cannot act

The following order of priority will take place for the deceased’s next-of-kin when there is no valid will:

  1. Married/ civil partner
  2. Child
  3. Grandchild
  4. Parent
  5. Brother or sister
  6. Nephew or niece
  7. Another relative

It is not mandatory to have letters of administration [link] to deal with the deceased’s estate.

Usually, an unmarried partner or same-sex partner who is not registered in a civil partnership and has not been named as an executor in the will won’t be granted letters of administration.