Do children automatically become administrators in event of no will

Step sons father died suddenly over Christmas, left a house that’s paid for but no will.  2 adult children left.

do the 2 children (28 and 30) automatically become administrators of the estate?  Or do they have to apply/request to administer it?

and we are assuming they’ll need to complete IHT400 at some point too?

just doing research for them to try and make the next few months a little easier for them 

Comments

  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,477
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    edited 3 January at 11:07AM
    Ok, step at a time.

    Assuming that the father was divorced, not married, he will have a basic £325k IHT allowance, plus up to £175k residential allowance if the property passes to direct descendants. What is the value of the estate?

    Any adult direct descendant can apply for letters of administration. That will be required to sell the house. 

    You say "2 adult children left"? Does that imply that there were more children? Do any of them have descendants? If so they inherit their parent's share, equal to that of the adult children left.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,041
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    Either can apply. Not sure if this can be done jointly - someone on here will be able to answer that. I would make yourself aware of what could go wrong though by this thread of a matter that isn't yet resolved https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6430531/advice-mil-died-without-leaving-a-will/p1
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,477
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    We administered an estate jointly. It's a good idea in case either of you become unwell, overwhelmed. Also helps with double checking. 


    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • longwalks1
    longwalks1 Posts: 3,702
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    RAS said:
    Ok, step at a time.

    Assuming that the father was divorced, not married, he will have a basic £325k IHT allowance, plus up to £175k residential allowance if the property passes to direct descendants. What is the value of the estate?

    Any adult direct descendant can apply for letters of administration. That will be required to sell the house. 

    You say "2 adult children left"? Does that imply that there were more children? Do any of them have descendants? If so they inherit their parent's share, equal to that of the adult children left.
    Hi RAS
    sorry the ‘2 children left’ should of read ‘he leaves his 2 children’ . Was only ever 2 children.  He was divorced 12 years ago.  

    He actually inherited most of the estate he leaves from his then partner who passed 6 years ago.  One son has already been bombarded with phone calls from the sister of the partner he inherited it from asking questions, who was extremely put out that it was left to him 6 years ago.

    I know about the £325k IHT and £175k RNRB allowance (we have just finished applying for late mother in laws probate) and was able to use late father in laws 325k and 175k allowance to avoid IHT. 

    I’d imagine the estate value of £500k to £550k (a rough estimate)

    I know the boys have funeral etc to sort first, just want to help where we can with regards to paperwork to make things a little easier for them. 
  • longwalks1
    longwalks1 Posts: 3,702
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    RAS said:
    We administered an estate jointly. It's a good idea in case either of you become unwell, overwhelmed. Also helps with double checking. 


    Agreed. My partner has just finished executoring her late mums estate with her 2 siblings.  Aside from one dragging his heels (now resolved), it’s been easy having others to help and check everything over. 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,243
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    RAS said:
    Ok, step at a time.

    Assuming that the father was divorced, not married, he will have a basic £325k IHT allowance, plus up to £175k residential allowance if the property passes to direct descendants. What is the value of the estate?

    Any adult direct descendant can apply for letters of administration. That will be required to sell the house. 

    You say "2 adult children left"? Does that imply that there were more children? Do any of them have descendants? If so they inherit their parent's share, equal to that of the adult children left.
    Hi RAS
    sorry the ‘2 children left’ should of read ‘he leaves his 2 children’ . Was only ever 2 children.  He was divorced 12 years ago.  

    He actually inherited most of the estate he leaves from his then partner who passed 6 years ago.  One son has already been bombarded with phone calls from the sister of the partner he inherited it from asking questions, who was extremely put out that it was left to him 6 years ago.

    I know about the £325k IHT and £175k RNRB allowance (we have just finished applying for late mother in laws probate) and was able to use late father in laws 325k and 175k allowance to avoid IHT. 

    I’d imagine the estate value of £500k to £550k (a rough estimate)

    I know the boys have funeral etc to sort first, just want to help where we can with regards to paperwork to make things a little easier for them. 
    It would be best for them to apply for letters of administration jointly. As they will need to claim the residential NRB and possibly pay a small amount of IHT they will have to do a full IHT return before they can apply for LoA. 
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,477
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    Step sons father died suddenly over Christmas, left a house that’s paid for but no will.  
    Given the closeness to the IHT limit, get a RICS valuation rather than a solicitor. Get the funeral director to bill the bank account with enough assets to cover the cost. Remember that covers the wake etc.

    Open a new bank account, possibly in both names if both have clean credit records, to gather money from small accounts below bank limits for release to executors to cover IHT, if required. 

    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,243
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    RAS said:
    Step sons father died suddenly over Christmas, left a house that’s paid for but no will.  
    Given the closeness to the IHT limit, get a RICS valuation rather than a solicitor. Get the funeral director to bill the bank account with enough assets to cover the cost. Remember that covers the wake etc.

    Open a new bank account, possibly in both names if both have clean credit records, to gather money from small accounts below bank limits for release to executors to cover IHT, if required. 

    I would second all that. One thing to add, check the limits that his bank / BSs as most have quite high limits that they will pay out without the need for probate. If you can get at least some of his liquid assets released to you now it will cover the estate expenses like insurance cover for his house.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,043
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    He actually inherited most of the estate he leaves from his then partner who passed 6 years ago.  One son has already been bombarded with phone calls from the sister of the partner he inherited it from asking questions, who was extremely put out that it was left to him 6 years ago.


    'Bombarded with phone calls' - anything more than one call probably feels that way, but she has of course lost her brother, and a little sympathy would probably go a long way (even if you don't feel she deserves it!).

    It might help if your stepsons agree a party line with each other on what to say to her, especially in respect of the funeral arrangements. Are they in a position to suggest to her she might like a 'keepsake' or two, or is that opening the door to all sorts of trouble?
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • msb1234
    msb1234 Posts: 510
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    Marcon said:


    He actually inherited most of the estate he leaves from his then partner who passed 6 years ago.  One son has already been bombarded with phone calls from the sister of the partner he inherited it from asking questions, who was extremely put out that it was left to him 6 years ago.


    'Bombarded with phone calls' - anything more than one call probably feels that way, but she has of course lost her brother, and a little sympathy would probably go a long way (even if you don't feel she deserves it!).

    It might help if your stepsons agree a party line with each other on what to say to her, especially in respect of the funeral arrangements. Are they in a position to suggest to her she might like a 'keepsake' or two, or is that opening the door to all sorts of trouble?
    The phone calls have been from the father’s late partner’s sister. Presumably she is miffed that her sister left her estate to someone she had only lived with for 6 years, and now it’s being left to that person’s children. Maybe the late father’s partner had children who didn’t inherit? 
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