Steps Immediately After Death
It is not uncommon for there to be confusion when someone passes away without leaving a will.
Sometimes, Letters of Administration are needed to give a person or persons the authority to deal with a deceased person's estate. On some occasions, Letters of Administration are not needed. Please read this blog on the subject for further information. [https://www.ghsolicitors.co.uk/single-post/2017/12/20/Do-I-really-need-a-Grant-of-Probate].
It can be confusing over who is entitled to act and make decisions.
The Rules of Intestacy place relatives in an order. The married partner or civil partner of the deceased take precedence. In the absence of a partner or civil partner, then the child or children of the deceased can act. Those who are not married or in a civil partnership with the deceased do not have any entitlement.
If the spouse or civil partner does not have mental capacity, it would be best to take legal advice.
A group of persons can act together, for example multiple children after both parents pass away. The court could allow any individual of that group to apply for a Letter of Administration. It can be granted to more than one person, (it would be limited to four for Letters to administrate an entire estate). It would be granted to the person or persons that makes the first correct application to Court.
If you have not already written a Will, there is no better time than the present to do so, particularly if you are cohabiting but not married or in a civil partnership. If you wish to find out more, please contact our office on 01992 422128.