If a will has been made
- This should appoint an executor who must apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate, allowing this individual to deal with all of the deceased's assets.
- As the freezing of assets can be an issue when arranging the funeral before the Grant of Probate has been issued, it's common practise that the bank may be release a small amount of money to the Next of Kin and Funeral Director to cover the cost of the arrangements.
- A grant of probate may not be needed if the deceased’s assets are held in a shared a joint bank account with their spouse/civil partner, as in the result of their death their partner would become entitled to the entirety of that joint account by right of survivorship. Probate is also not required if the deceased assets are confined to Banks/ Building Society and contain less than £5000
If no will has been made
A person will be appointed as administer of the estate. This would usually be the deceased's next of kin or closest living relative. Once appointed the administrator must apply for a letter of administration allowing them to deal with the deceased's assets The order the responsibility falls on is as follows:
- If the deceased has no surviving relative, the estate goes to the Crown.