Due to morality issues, people do not usually like to talk of the estate of a deceased person, especially if you are a part of the family like a wife or one of the kids. A death of a person is a very emotional event in life and monetary issues are usually not talked about early after the death.
However, once the funeral and burial has been over with, the division of property that the deceased person has left will be the topic to be discussed. In cases where the deceased person has not left a will, this can be a source of dispute within the family. The absence of someone to manage and properly distribute the money and estate becomes a source of confusion and misunderstandings.
This is the time that someone should be brave and step up to present himself to become the administrator of the estate left by the dead relative. If you want to do just this, then you will have to apply for a probate in court. A probate will allow you to have access on the bank accounts and estates of the deceased person. To apply for a probate, you will need to fill up a Probate Application form and an Inheritance tax form. Once you are done filling the forms, you can send copies of them in the different concerned government bodies (varies according to country or estate). If the estate still owes an inheritance tax, then you must also settle them. Then after all is done, you will have to wait for quite some time (more or less, three weeks). The staffs in the court will check whether all the paper works are complete and true. If there are no problems encountered, then there will be two more phases before the application gets approved.
Again, the papers will be checked for authenticity and completeness, the court might also ask for more proofs if needed. Once all is done, you will be scheduled for an interview among the others who also applied for a probate. The interview may be held in controlling probate registry or in any other venue that was suggested. The forms will be reviewed again and you will be asked to take an oath. If your application for probate is approved, a letter will be sent to you from the district probate registry.
Your relation to the dead person will be considered in making the decision on whether you will be appointed as an administrator. If another person contest and applies for a probate in the court and he has a closer relation to the deceased, then he might be the one who will get approved.
Banks and land registry offices are very strict in handling a property or an account to another person. For them, the name in the title or the account is the owner and will be the only person to have access on the property or account regardless of whether they are dead or alive. But these offices also recognize the authority of the administrator of the estate only when there are paper works that support it. So, if you wish to administrate a deceased property and estate, ask for legal help and make sure to be knowledgeable of the process.
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