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Letters of administration - who can apply?

(11 Posts)
Tylders Wed 22-Oct-14 11:36:52

Hi,

I'm a regular lurker here and am hoping that someone may be able to provide a little advice on this.

A friend of mine died suddenly a few months ago leaving behind five siblings and his pregnant partner. My friend was not married to his partner although they had lived together for around six months in a property that he owned. The estate he left behind is thought to be quite sizeable; in excess of £12 million.

Shortly after his death, his family found out that his partner and her father had applied to obtain the grant of letters of administration due to intestacy. His family were unsure if there was a will but do not feel enough time was given to look for one.

The grant was obtained, the family understood that under the rules of intestacy the unborn child would inherit everything and therefore the mother did have the right to apply to administer the estate on behalf of the child, however, given that a second person also had to be appointed, one of the family members would have liked to do this.

So my questions are:

- Should one of my friends siblings have been able to apply at the second administrator or does the right of deciding who applies lie with the mother?

- If one of the siblings should have been given the right to apply, is there any way they can obtain a copy of the application for grant of letters of administration in order to see the information contained?

- The childs paternity is not proven, should this all wait until the child is born and it can be established that my friend was his/her father?

prh47bridge Wed 22-Oct-14 14:34:25

There are strict rules about who can apply for letters of administration. As your friend was not married or in a civil partnership and has no children one of his siblings should have applied. An unmarried partner does not have the right to apply nor does her father.

mumblechum1 Wed 22-Oct-14 17:00:29

I was just about to post exactly what prh47 said.

Tylders Thu 23-Oct-14 07:50:30

Thanks for the replies, so even if there is a child (although unborn) his partner should not have been able to apply?

The partner and her father do now have the grant, are the family able to do anything about this?

mumblechum1 Thu 23-Oct-14 11:45:20

The family should have put a stop on the grant being issued. I suggest they take urgent legal advice.

There is no child until it is born.

Tylders Thu 23-Oct-14 14:53:54

Thanks mumblechum,

At the time the family weren't aware this was happening. As soon as they found out, they took some legal advice and were told that the girlfriend was perfectly entitled to apply. It turns out that the solicitor who advised them actually represented the girlfriend in obtaining the grant.

I will certainly advise them to take further legal advice

stevemLS1 Thu 23-Oct-14 22:48:25

An unborn child is not a "person" so can't inherit.

prh47bridge Fri 24-Oct-14 00:05:32

Yes they can. Under the Administration of Estates Act 1925 S55(2) references to a child in the intestacy rules include a child who is conceived but unborn.

mumblechum1 Fri 24-Oct-14 00:08:30

Certainly the child can inherit, but until it's born the mother shouldn't have been able to get the grant, or that's my understanding.

Tylders Mon 03-Nov-14 20:52:04

Just wanted to say thank you for your replies. The family did take some further legal advice from a different solicitor who said that he had never heard of a case like this before!

A second grant has been obtained by the girlfriend and her father and the child was born last weekend so the family have been told that they niw have nothing to do with the estate.

The family wished to maintain a relationship with the girlfriend and the child but unfortunately it doesn't look like this is going to happen. One of the family members rented a house from my friend and was given several thousand pounds by him about six months ago, the girlfriend has now written to then asking that they vacate the property and pay back the money immediately. A couple of the family members also worked in my friends business but have now been told to leave.

Shakey1500 Mon 03-Nov-14 21:01:05

https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/stopping-a-grant-of-representation

Is that any use Tylders?

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