Probate and Estate Administration

Upon the death of a person intestate, or of one who left a will without appointing executors, or when the executors appointed by the will cannot or will not act, the Probate Division of the Court or the local District Probate Registry will appoint an administrator who performs similar duties to an executor. The court does this by granting letters of administration to the person so entitled, who must hire a lawyer to get this process started. Grants of administration may be either general (where the deceased has died intestate) or limited. The order in which the court will make general grants of letters follows the sequence:

  1. The surviving spouse, or;
  2. The next of kin;
  3. A creditor;
  4. A stranger.