If the person did not leave a will

You can apply to be an ‘administrator’ of the estate if the person did not leave a will. The process is the same as applying for probate.

You’ll receive ‘letters of administration’ to prove you have the legal right to deal with the estate.

Who can apply

You can usually apply if you’re the person’s next of kin, for example their spouse, civil partner or child.

You can apply if you were still married or in a civil partnership with the person when they died, even if you were separated from them.

You cannot apply if you’re the partner of the person but were not their spouse or civil partner when they died. You’re not automatically entitled to any of your partner’s estate.

Who inherits

The law decides who inherits the estate if there’s no will.