Death and Personal Representatives: General introduction and background: Definitions
`Personal representatives’ is a global term for the persons having the responsibility for settling the affairs of a deceased person. It encompasses both executors and administrators (in Scotland, Executors nominate and Executors dative).
Where the deceased has left a valid will the persons named in the will as their executors, provided they accept the office, become their personal representatives. In order to establish their position they have to apply for a grant of probate.
If the deceased died intestate, that is, had left no valid will, any person having an interest in the Estate can apply for a grant of letters of administration. On receiving such a grant they become administrators of the estate and thus personal representatives.
In Scotland the equivalent to obtaining a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration is called obtaining a confirmation.