Devolution of assets and the need for a grant

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Devolution of assets and the need for a grant
  • Devolution
  • Manors and advowsons
  • Partnership property
  • Donatio mortis causa
  • Chattels
  • Chose in action
  • Trusts
  • Joint accounts and holdings
  • Beneficial joint tenants of land
  • More...

Devolution of assets and the need for a grant

When a person dies, they usually own some form of property whether it be land, investments, cash, furniture and so on. A grant of representation may or may not be necessary depending on what those assets consist of and where they are situated. In general the production of a grant of probate or letters of administration will be proof that the persons named as personal representatives (PRs) therein are entitled to collect in the assets of the deceased from the relevant asset holders. It should, however, be noted that a grant is not proof of death and, consequently, a death certificate will usually be required in the first instance.

Although the majority of the deceased’s assets will be recoverable by the PRs there are some assets that do not devolve on them and pass in an alternative manner.

The difficulty for any person who is appointed as an executor or believes they have the right credentials to be an administrator takes a risk if they deal with the deceased’s estate and later find that they, for whatever reason, do not have requisite authority (eg because a later Will is found). In such circumstance they may be accused of intermeddling. Briefly, if any party takes significant steps in relation to administering the estate, such as disposing of the deceased's

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