Information on tax after a bereavement

What is a personal representative?

A personal representative is responsible for settling a deceased person’s affairs. 

As a personal representative you can be appointed as an:

  • executor in the will by the deceased
  • administrator when:
    • there is no will
    • an executor is not appointed
    • an executor is unwilling or unable to act. 

A personal representative will need to make an application to be legally appointed. They might engage a solicitor to help them do the job.

Note

An administrator is appointed in the following order: 

1: Spouse or civil partner

2: Child

3: Partner

4: Brother or sister

5: A more distant relative. 

How to be legally appointed as a personal representative

You must apply to the Probate Office of the High Court for a Grant of Representation. This legally confirms your appointment as the personal representative. It acts as an assurance to financial institutions that they can safely place the deceased person’s assets in your hands. 

The Grant of Representation is also known as:

  • a Grant of Probate when there is a will
  • Letters of Administration when there is no will. 

Grant of Representation

To get a Grant of Representation, you need to complete the online Statement of Affairs (Probate) SA.2. The Statement of Affairs (Probate) SA.2 is an account of the deceased person’s estate. The Guide to completing a Statement of Affairs (Probate) SA.2 will help you complete it.

Once the form has been submitted, a Notice of Acknowledgement will be auto-generated to your:

This should be taken with any required paperwork to the Probate Office District or Probate Registry.

Note

If the deceased person died before 5 December 2001 you will need to complete the Inland Revenue Affidavit (Form C.A.24 2000 edition).

Next: Duties of a personal representative