Applicant for Letters of Administration dies before grant is issued

There have been several posts regarding the inordinate delays at the probate office during Lockdown. In this case, there was no will and the deceased’s husband applied for Letters of Administration in June 2020. The estate was £60,000. Before the grant was given, he died in November. The question is, can his executors, who are the children of the marriage, (he DID have a will) step in and carry on the application for their mother’s grant? Or do they have to start the application all over again? Not even the probate office seem able to answer this.

I suspect the answer is as bleak as you probably anticipate.
First of all, title to deal with an intestate estate stems from the grant itself - as opposed to a testate estate where title stems from the will at death, and is merely confirmed by the grant. As H died before the grant was issued, he never had any title to administer the estate of M. But in any event there cannot be any “chain of executorship” as M died intestate.
I think [fear] that the children must first prove their Father’s will, and then consider if [depending on the assets concerned] they need a further grant [on his behalf] to complete the administration of their Mother’s estate.
Kevin Mullen


Thank you Kevin. Really helpful, clear thinking.

As much as to test my own knowledge as to add to the discussion.

The original application for LOA is withdrawn by presentation to the Probate Service of Father’s death certificate.

The Child(ren) apply for Letters of Administration – there is no need to wait for probate in Father’s estate.

Truth wording along the lines of:

"… domiciled in England and Wales intestate leaving H, her lawful lawful husband who has since died without having taken upon himself letters of administration of her estate;

  1. No minority and now no life interest arises under the intestacy;

  2. To the best of my knowledge, information, and belief there was no land vested in the said deceased which was settled previously to her death and which remained settled land notwithstanding her death;

  3. I am the son/daughter and one of the persons entitled to share in the estate of the said deceased;


John I assume that the father did survive his wife by 28 days, and on the value concerned was sole beneficiary under intestacy, i.e. did not have to share any part of this with the children. If so, the children cannot simply claim in their statement of truth to be entitled to share their Mother’s estate under intestacy, even if in practice they will share, via their Father’s will. Hence the need to prove his will first, however irritating this may seem.

Interesting! Yes H did survive by almost 6 months, so your point is well made.