What happens if the deceased had a will? Or did not have a will?
What happens if the deceased had a will?
If the deceased left a will, the executor named in the will must formally ask the court for a Grant of Probate in order to administer the estate according to the will. The executor’s role comes with many legal rights and obligations. It is a voluntary position and it is often wise to speak to a lawyer before undertaking efforts as an executor or renouncing an executorship. The original of the deceased’s will must be submitted to court for probate. A copy of the will alone is of no value and operates as though the deceased did not have a valid will.
What happens if the deceased did NOT have a will?
If the deceased passed away without a will they are said to have died intestate and another individual interested in the estate must formally ask the court for permission to settle the deceased’s affairs. The court appoints such a person by a Grant of Letters of Administration. The person appointed by the court is called the administrator. A surviving spouse has the first right to apply as the administrator. If the deceased did not have a spouse at death, the adult children, parents, siblings, nieces or nephews of the deceased each have a right to apply in turn.
If you would like to receive a FREE information package about probate and administration or if you would like to schedule an appointment to speak to an estate lawyer, please contact our office at 204-989-4236.
Advice from an Estate Lawyer
June 21, 2016