The Legal Process to Administering the Deceased's Estate

Law Blog

After bereavement, there is usually the consuming affair of dividing the estate of the deceased among the beneficiaries according to the will. If the deceased died intestate, the property will usually be divided among members of the immediate family.

For this to happen it is usually important to speak to a probate lawyer about whether you will need a grant of probate. This depends on the assets left behind by the deceased. Probate lawyers can talk to you about the following steps related to administering the will.

Grants of representation

To administer the assets of a deceased, you need a grant of representation. There are three types of grant of representation:

  • Grant of probate- You can apply for this if you are the named executor in the will of the deceased
  • Letter of administration with will attached- You can apply for this if the only executor(s) named in the will do not wish to administer the estate of the deceased or are unable for various reasons like death or incapacitation.
  • Letter of administration- This is issued if the deceased died without a valid will.

Applying for a grant of representation

You need to have the original last will (if any) and the original death certificate of the deceased in order to apply for a grant of representation. Find accurate records of all the assets, investments and liabilities, as you will need them when making the application. Once your attorney is satisfied that you have all relevant documents, your application will be drafted with the following documents:

  • Draft Probate
  • Your oath as the executor
  • Affidavit of assets and liabilities, with the statement of assets and liabilities
  • Registrar's certificates

Other affidavits you may have to attach include:

  • Of Plight and Condition- In case the will has been defaced in any way
  • Alias- In case the deceased's name was spelled wrong. It also applies if the deceased used different names, nicknames or versions of their name in the will.
  • Due execution- In case the validity of the will is being challenged or the testamentary capacity of the deceased is brought into question.

Contested Wills

The two main situations where a will can be disputed are:

  • The deceased lacked legal capacity- Legal capacity covers the mental and physical well being that is required for one to have sound judgement.
  • The deceased was coerced into making the will- In such a case, undue influence was used to make the deceased create a will in favour of a certain beneficiary.

Probate lawyers are well poised to overcome the legal hurdles that can arise in this long and detailed process.


24 April 2017

Probate Law: What You Need to Know

Hello, my name is Jenny and this is my probate law blog. I should say now, I am not a lawyer and I have not had any professional legal training. However, I do know a thing or two about probate. I taught myself a lot after the death of my grandma. My grandma left a lot of money and property behind, but unfortunately, she didn't leave a will. This lead to several family members staking a claim on the inheritance. I instructed a lawyer to act on my mother's behalf to ensure that she was not cheated out of her share.