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Read more articles in: Linsey Graham, News

Do you need a Will to administer an estate?

The period after a loved one has died is very difficult and can be exacerbated by not knowing the requirements for handling the estate.

After navigating the immediate steps that must be taken after the death of a loved one, it is time to consider how the estate will be administered. Here, Linsey Graham, a Senior Probate Executive with Mander Hadley, explains how an estate can be administered both in situations where a Will is in place and when someone has died intestate (without leaving a Will):

To move forward with estate administration, it is necessary to locate the Will (if there is one) to divide the estate in line with the deceased’s wishes.

The Will usually names an Executor to handle the duty of administrating the estate. This could be a sole Executor, or multiple people may have been named to carry out the duties jointly.

At this stage, it is important to check the validity of the Will which includes ensuring that the Will is the latest version and is in writing. The Will should be signed and dated by the person who made it, as well as being witnessed by at least two adults (these witnesses should not be beneficiaries).

If there is not a Will in place, the estate can be divided by an individual who takes on the role of Administrator, who is often next of kin.

Ahead of obtaining the relevant approval to administer the estate, it is necessary to value the estate, which includes valuing all assets (including property, savings, and possessions), along with any debts that need to be paid.

Gifts given within seven years of the individual’s death should also be accounted for in the valuation process.

If an Administrator has been selected, they will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration to continue with the process of administering the estate.

Executors must apply for a Grant of Probate if the value of the estate exceeds £5,000.

For help and advice on administering an estate, please get in touch with our Wills and Estate Administration team.

Linsey Graham

Senior Probate Executive – Wills, Probate & Older Client Services

I have worked for Mander Hadley for 17 years and specialise in Wills, trusts, tax, probate and the administration of estates.