Definition of a personal representative

The following Wills & Probate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Definition of a personal representative
  • The PR's role
  • The need for a grant
  • Identity of PR and capacity to act
  • Age and PRs
  • Mental capacity and PRs
  • PRs not resident in the UK
  • Bankruptcy and PRs
  • Divorce and PRs
  • Number of PRs
  • More...

Definition of a personal representative

Section 55(1)(xi) of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 defines ‘personal representative’ as:

‘the executor, original or by representation, or administrator for the time being of a deceased person, and as regards any liability for the payment of death duties includes any person who takes possession of or intermeddles with the property of a deceased person without the authority of the personal representatives or the court, and “executor” includes a person deemed to be appointed executor as respects settled land’

An executor is a person appointed by a valid Will or codicil to administer the testator’s property and carry out the provisions of the Will.

If the deceased left a Will but there is no executor able or willing to act then an administrator may take a grant of letters of administration with Will annexed. An administrator is a person appointed by the court to administer the property of a deceased person where they were not appointed in the deceased’s Will. The order of priority to apply for letters of administration (with Will annexed or otherwise) is set out in the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987, SI 1987/2024 (NCPR 1987).

The term personal representatives (PRs) includes both executors and administrators.

An executor’s appointment may be limited to particular property as specified by their appointment in the Will, eg literary works.

An executor de son tort is a

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