Trusts and Estates

King v King

Who should administer an estate on intestacy?

If a person dies intestate, then the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 (the 1987 Rules) set out an order of priority for a person to take out a grant of letters of administration to administer the deceased's estate. The rules prioritise those who have a beneficial interest in the estate by order of their relationship to the deceased: rule 22(1) of the 1987 Rules. The issue with this approach is that more than one person may have the same relationship to the deceased - for example, he or she may have multiple children or siblings. In those circumstances, the registrar is given a discretion pursuant to rule 27(6) of the 1987 Rules to decide which of those persons should be appointed as administrator. The persons entitled to a grant can also be "passed over" pursuant to section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 if it appears appropriate to appoint someone else as an independent administrator.

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