probate & administration of an estate
Probate is the legal process involving the distribution of a deceased person’s property and other assets in accordance with the terms of their Will.
If a person dies not having made a Will (described as dying intestate), their property and assets are divided according to rules laid down by law. These rules are referred to as the rules of intestacy. The distribution in that case is referred to as an administration.
When making a Will, a person usually appoints one or two people to deal with their estate when the time comes. These people are then ‘executors’ of the estate. If no executor has been appointed in the Will, or if a valid Will was not made, an ‘administrator’ is appointed, who will have a role similar to an executor’s role.
When a person dies, the person’s assets are frozen. No one can deal with any of the assets of the estate until the State’s Probate Office has been given the details of the estate. The solicitor will prepare the papers for the Probate Office.
When they are satisfied with the information, the Probate Office will issue a document called a grant of probate or grant of administration. This gives authority to the executor, or if there is no executor, the administrator, to proceed to deal with the estate. The solicitor, as the executor’s or administrator’s agent, is then free to gather in the assets, to pay any debts due, and to distribute the remainder to the people named in the will or, if no valid will, to those who are entitled by law to a share in the estate.
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Quote - ADMINISTRATION OF AN ESTATE
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