FAQs: The role of letters of administration


What are letters of administration?

Letters of administration are obtained from the Probate Registry when a person dies without a valid will. Letters of administration are similar to a grant of probate, which is obtained from the Probate Registry when a person dies with a valid will.

What do letters of administration confirm?

Letters of administration have a similar effect to a grant of probate in that they confirm the authority of the ‘personal representative’ to administer the estate of the deceased, in accordance with the rules of intestacy. The personal representative is the person who applied for the letters of administration.

Who is the personal representative?

Normally, the deceased person’s next of kin will apply for letters of administration. However, it may be possible to reach an agreement to allow another person to apply for letters of administration and to be the ‘personal representative’ with authority to administer the deceased person’s estate.

What is the process for applying for letters of administration?

An application for a grant of letters of administration is made to the Probate Registry. A number of forms must be submitted, including a PA1 form which sets out the details of the deceased person, their surviving relatives, the personal representative and details of any will. A copy of the death certificate, any will and the appropriate fee must be enclosed. The Probate Registry will then contact you for an interview to review the documents.

How is the estate administered under letters of administration?

Once letters of administration are obtained, the personal representative has the task of distributing the estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy. The rules of intestacy sets out which people in the deceased person’s life receive how much of the estate. A wills and probate solicitor can help the personal representative to carry out this role.

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