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Intestacy rules: who is entitled to administer the estate of somebody who has died without a will?


When a person dies without leaving a valid will, they have died "intestate". The rules that dictate who may deal with the assets in the estate and who will be a beneficiary of the estate are called the Intestacy Rules.

If there are assets exceeding £15,000 (or less, depending on the nature of the assets) then it will be necessary for somebody to apply to HM Probate Registry for Grant of Letters of Administration. This is a document that is issued by the Court, and which authorises the Personal Representatives to deal with the assets in the estate.

The following list is the order of priority in which people are entitled to act as Personal Representative of the deceased and take out the Grant of Letters of Administration. It should be remembered, however, that this is a guide only and legal advice should be taken to ensure that all the circumstances have been considered and the correct procedure is being followed.

Spouse or registered civil partner

Child or children

Grandchild or grandchildren


Full brother or sister or issue (children or grandchildren) of any full brother or sister who has died before the deceased

Half brother or sister or issue of any half brother or half sister who has died before the deceased


Full uncle or aunt, or children or issue of any full uncle or aunt who has died before the deceased

Half uncle or aunt, or issue of any half uncle or aunt who has died before the deceased

There are further catagories of people entitled to take out the grant and if none of the above relatives can be located then legal advice sould be taken. If you have any questions about the estate of a deceased friend or relative, please contact our dedicated enquiry email address: privateclientenquiries@clarionsolicitors.com

Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.