Who Can Apply For Probate in England and Wales?

Who Can Apply For Probate? England and Wales.

Who can apply for probate?

Who Can Apply For Probate please? My son who resided with my wife & I died on in November at just 32. He was divorced for about 12 years from his former wife with whom he had 1 child (now 13 years old.)  He also had two children (aged 9 & 10) with another partner from whom he was estranged. I have been told that I cannot administer his small estate as his father and the children’s grandfather, is this correct and if so who can apply for probate? There is no will.    (For those who will have a property to sell see this article too.)        See also Is Probate Needed?

Who can Apply for Probate: this is the strict order.

If there is no Last Will and testament appointing an executor or executors, or those executors refuse to act then:

The order of priority is as follows:
  • the surviving husband or wife. If none (he was divorced, so no wife.) Then
  • The children of the Deceased (and their children if they have predeceased) – if under age they can act through a parent with Parental Responsibility.) (So in this case, the two mothers of his children could potentially act.) If none then
  • the father and mother of the deceased. If none then
  • brothers and sisters of the whole blood (and their children if they have predeceased.) If none then
  • brothers and sisters of the half blood (and their children if they have predeceased.) If none then
  • grandparents then
  • uncles and aunts of the whole blood (and their children if they have predeceased.) If none then
  • uncles and aunts of the half blood (and their children if they have predeceased.) If none then
  • the Treasury Solicitor when claiming Bona Vacantia then
  • any creditor of the Deceased.

A grant cannot be issued to a person under 18, but parents who have parental responsibility for the relevant children can apply for a grant of probate, preferably together.

In this particular case, the children are likely to inherit, and it would seem likely that both mothers have equal rights to act (or ask us to help!) but there is nothing to stop you offering to help. In effect, it looks as if his estate will be shared one third each to his children, in Trust for them until they reach the age of 18. If his assets had been significant, then our professional associates’ help might save a lot of problems between the parties as professionals have no axe to grind.

Obviously, we can help if you or the mothers would wish that – our fees are relatively modest!

I have attached our leaflet called “Is Probate Required.”

Footnote: it is absolutely CRUCIAL that people make Wills, and keep them up to date.  If there is a word stronger than crucial (imperative?) then it is even MORE important for unmarried couples or unmarried parents to make Wills.

Who Can Apply For Probate?

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Author: Stephen Pett

My job is to ensure that we have a great team of Legal Advisers available to look after our Estate Planning and Probate Clients. Wills, Power of Attorney, Probate, IHT Planning, Trusts, Business Succession Planning - legal planning to protect you and yours.