If someone is named in a will to deal with the distribution of the estate, they are automatically granted authority to do this and are referred to as the administrator or executor. Although the person named may still have to complete a legal document first granting them probate. However, if the person named isn’t willing to take on this responsibility or no will has been made, therefore leaving the estate intestate, then either the next of kin or a close relative will need to be appointed to act as an administrator.
This can be done by submitting an application to the Probate Register for a ‘grant of representation’. Again, this administration is granted in an order of priority from married or civil partner of the deceased through to a nephew or niece or other living relative in that order.
Once the representation is completed the administrator will be responsible for activities such as collating all financial documentation of the deceased, sending death certificates, valuing property, preparing documents for the probate registry and HM Revenue and Customs, paying outstanding monies owed by the deceased and sharing out the estate.