Which is the competent authority?
Who should I contact?
Last update: 10/7/2012
England and Wales and Northern Ireland:
If the deceased has appointed an executor in his/her will, he/she can administer and settle the succession. In the event where the deceased has not appointed an executor, the court assigns an administrator by following a statutory hierarchy of beneficiaries. Any adult, including intestate heirs or testamentary legatees, can be appointed as an executor or administrator.
- The grant of representation is called grant of probate if the executor has been appointed by the testator in his/her will.
- The grant of representation is called grant of administration if the administrator has been appointed by the probate court.
The grant of representation may be made by the Principal Probate Registry in London or by one of the District or Sub District Probate Registries.
In Northern Ireland the grant of representation may be made by the Probate Office in Belfast.
A deceased may appoint an executor (nominate) in his/her will. If no executor is named or there is no will, an application can be made to the sheriff court for the appointment of an executor dative. An executor dative will normally be the surviving spouse or civil partner, otherwise another person entitled to inherit from the estate may be able to apply.
An executor must make an inventory of the estate and apply to the sheriff court for confirmation to the estate (the equivalent of probate/administration).
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Successions in the United Kingdom
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