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Letters of Administration for Intestate Persons

Discussion in 'Wills and probate' started by At home in NZ, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I have ordered a few wills from the GOV.UK Find a will web page. I have a couple that are for a Grant of Letters of Administration, but the letters are not included.
    Does anybody know if Letters of Administration are available and whether those letters are likely to provide any further information about the deceased?
     
  2. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    The Grant of Administration document is what is known as the 'Letters of Administration', and a copy of the document which was issued to the administrators is generally all you will get for an administration after 1858.

    Before 1858 other documents such as an inventory and accounts may have survived.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    My first job in the late 1950's was working in the Share Registration Office of a large national company. The job I finally was assigned was to examine copies of probated Wills or Letters of Administration(LoA) forwarded to the Company advising of the death of a Shareholder. I had to note the name of the Executor(s) and -if applicable - the name of any beneficiary. I would enter the details in the Share Register, apply the Company stamp to the document and -after details were checked by the Assistant Registrar - return same to the sender (usually a Solicitor or Bank).
    Addressing the question raised - and given the time that has passed you must allow for my my memory being somewhat hazy - I recall that whilst Probated Wills were a veritable mine of information in themselves, LoA's were standard pre-printed legal documents (virtually always of the same format) just naming court appointed Executors.

    Whether that is a help or not I know not, but I would doubt copies of LoA's would be of much use genealogically speaking...but things may have changed since I first encountered them on a daily basis.
     
  4. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Thanks Bob, an interesting job for a youngster!
    To answer your doubt, they are not. To answer things may have changed, they haven't.
     
  5. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Yes but I really began as an office junior and a stamp clerk (in charge of postage stamps). 'Stamp Book' expenditure was audited weekly and I recall was once a penny halfpenny out. I could not account for the discrepancy and when I offered to pay this from my own pocket (I probably had sixpence to my name) it was looked on with aghast by the Registrar and I was told it should not happen again - and of course it never did. So I rose in the ranks and made Probate Clerk and within 6 months received my call up papers and went into the RAF. I could have returned to the job after being demobbed (as was the law) but courting and marriage meant going on to new pastures.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
  6. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    The standard information you can expect on an England & Wales post-1858 Grant of Administration is similar to what you get on a Grant of Probate, but the most useful genealogical information is likely to be in the will if there is one.

    So unless it's an Administration with will annexed, the sort of information you might expect is:
    • the date of the Grant and where it was issued
    • the full name and last permanent address of the deceased, plus the date and place of death
    • the name, address and qualification* of the administrator(s) (not executors!), which may include their relationship to the deceased and an occupation
    • the value of the estate
    * ie what qualifies them to be the administrator - usually, but not always, a next of kin

    So a Grant of Administration may sometimes be worth getting, particularly for later ones where many of the above details are not given in the Probate Calendar.
     
  7. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    When you order from the Find a Will website you are looking at exactly the same detail as is given in the record in Ancestry. I presume it's the Probate Calendar.
    It isn't possible to tell if there is a will or not until you receive the order.
    You get the notice that tells you the person died intestate and that letters of administration are granted to whoever.
    The next page is an advice from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service thanking you for downloading the Grant of Letters of Administration and advising they are unable to provide a will and the obvious reason of why.
     
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    As far as I'm aware, this information is usually there in the Probate Calendar in some shape or form. Exactly how the information is presented in the calendar varies for different dates - some start with "Administration of" or "The Will of" followed by the name, while others start with details of the deceased and then go on to say "Probate" or "Administration" followed by the place and date issued. If there is a will with the administration this is also noted, so you might see "Administration (with the Will) of" or "Administration (with Will)".

    EDIT: Just to be clear, if it’s an administration and there is no mention of a will in the calendar, you can assume there won’t be one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
  9. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Silly me, I'd forgotten I had to apply for Letters of Administration (LoA) when my father died back in the 1980's intestate. Although my father died in Birmingham, the Letters were granted by the Probate Court in Maidstone. I was next of kin eldest, and administered his estate as Executor on my own and my (two) sister's behalf. This entailed sending off copies of the 'LoA' with a copy Death Certificate. All were duly actioned and suitably endorsed as 'seen' by his Bank & Building Societies and I had the funds transferred to a new account opened with Lloyds as Executor of xxxxx rather than in my own name. After paying for the funeral and burial costs, the money was divided equally and I closed the account.

    I do recall recognising the LoA as almost identical to those I had come into contact with in my first job. Quite bare bones information but enough to grant me the authority to proceed to administer his estate.
     
  10. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    Actually you administered the estate as Administrator not as Executor.

    Executors are nominated by a Testator in their will. Administration - with or without a will annexed - is granted to an Administrator.
     
  11. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I'm sure you are right Pauline,but I was referred to as Executor in legal paperwork, and was recognised as such by all interested parties. A Rose by any other name springs to mind.
     
  12. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Thanks again Pauline, mine of information.
    Silly me had not noticed the difference, the calendar I am looking at is for 1978 and as an aside, unlike older entries does not say who Probate was granted to. I can see a singular word in each entry, either Probate or Administration. I will be looking carefully in future and won't be wasting any more money unless I really want to know who was granted Administration.
     
  13. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Another recall, when I attended the Court I had to produce completed paperwork sent to me in advance and answer questions. One of the questions asked: "would I be executing the 'Estate' (their words not mine as my father had lived in the Council House where I was brought up in Birmingham) personally, or would I be assigning it to an independent Executor, such as a Bank or Solicitor. I answered that I would be dealing with it myself.

    In the paperwork that accompanied the Grant, I was named as the provisional Executor, with the option to assign, or co-assign, as necessary.
     
  14. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    It so happens I'd remembered this because you mentioned it in a thread a few years back (in 2015). The reason for mentioning this here, is that back then Peter posted two links to pages on the Probate website, which still work and which are relevant to this thread. The second of the pages has, towards the bottom, a list of Useful Terms with explanations of what they mean.

    Both pages are worth a look.
     
  15. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Good memory Pauline, although I know I had mentioned it before, but couldn't recall when or recall the Probate website terms. As I said above, I have no doubt you are right in that I was appointed Administrator to 'deal' with the Estate, just as I am sure in colloquial parlance I was also carrying out duties as an "Executor" (in much the same way as I call my non bloodline cousin a "Cousin"). Pedantically you are right, and with a memory that good you should also know what I think of pedantry.

    As my Ozzie sister often says (and no I don't understand it either)…"you're not often wrong, but you're right this time".;)
     
  16. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    They certainly are. An old saying comes to mind 'your blood's worth bottling'. :):)
     
  17. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    Yes, I remember it coming up a few times! :eek: :D
     
  18. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I would have thought that brought up by a Mother who seemed to have a saying to suit any occasion - not to mention both Grandma's and an Aunt or two - nothing would be new, but have to admit I haven't heard this one before. I can make a second guess at its intention and am pretty sure Mother would have understood and quite likely have parried with an alternative. I would be interested to know from what area of the country it came and have others heard it before?

    Edit: A quick Google (which I should have done first) tells me it is likely of Australian/NZ origins so perhaps not too surprising that I hadn't heard it before. Apparently meant as a compliment...would never have guessed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  19. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Seeing as I live in NZ ............
    It's something that was said to me many years ago, by a guy I was dealing with at work and I've never forgotten it. It is indeed a compliment.
     

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