Are you the administrator of the estate?

To be named Administrator of the estate after the death of someone who has not left a will is an unexpected responsibility. In our latest blog post, we break down the role of an Administrator and the resources at a person’s disposal. What is the difference between an administrator and an executor?

The Administrator of an intestate estate has a heavy burden since he or she is responsible for determining and identifying the heirs or beneficiaries under the law of intestacy. Claims against the estate may increase if there are difficulties in locating and contacting beneficiaries. Beneficiaries must be correctly recognised, and the Administrator has the burden of ensuring this. For the sake of accuracy, they may wish to enlist the services of a professional genealogist at this point.

A statutory advertising is one further measure to shield the Administrator against claims made after the distribution, and it also assures that all of the deceased’s obligations are paid. This ensures that everyone who is entitled to a share of the estate has been notified.

For a minimum of two months, a mandatory advertising is published in the London Gazette. Ads in the local newspaper should be placed for two months as well, if the dead individual owned property.

Before the two months are over, no money shall be disbursed. If any unknown creditors or beneficiaries make a claim against the estate within the two-month grace period, the Administrator is released from any personal culpability.

Unknown creditors are not the only ones who may lodge a claim on the estate; anybody with a good cause can do so and notify the Administrator up to six months after the Letters of Administration were obtained. Consequently, if the Administrator is worried about the family tree and other family members who may be entitled to portion of the inheritance, it is fairly uncommon for them to withhold distribution until month seven.