administration, letters of
administration, letters of defined in 1939 yearadministration, letters of - Administration, letters of;
administration, letters of - Phrase used in English law. When a person dies without a will; or leaves a will but without an executor named therein; or the executor has died before the testator; or the executor is under age, or a lunatic, or for some other reason cannot act; or the executor declines to act, the proper course is for some person to take out letters of administration in the Probate Division, to enable the deceased's property to be dealt with and his debts paid. Until this is done, no one can legally pay anything owing to the deceased, or in any way meddle with his property.
Letters of administration will be granted to the widow, or next of Kin, or if none of these wishes to act, then to a creditor. An administrator has to give a bond, with sureties, for an amount generally double the value of the estate, that he will faithfully administer. In the case of an administrator appointed in place of an executor, i.e. where there is a will but no executor, the letters "of administration are said to be cum testamento annexo, i.e. with the will annexed.
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