Grant de Bonis Non

Grant de Bonis Non
Grant de Bonis Non
Full Overview Of Grant de Bonis Non

In the complex and often intricate world of probate law, various types of grants exist to address specific needs and circumstances associated with administrating a deceased person’s estate. One such specialised grant is the “Grant de Bonis Non,” a Latin term meaning “of goods not administered.” This type of grant is necessary when the original executor or administrator cannot complete the estate’s administration, leaving certain assets unadministered.

At DLS Solicitors, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Grant de Bonis Non, its purpose, application process, legal implications, and the responsibilities it entails. This detailed overview explains the intricacies of this specialised grant and its substantial role in the probate process.

What is a Grant de Bonis Non?

A Grant de Bonis Non is a secondary or subsequent grant issued by the probate court to appoint a new administrator to manage and complete the administration of an estate that remains partially unadministered. This grant becomes necessary when the original executor or administrator dies, resigns, becomes incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to fulfil their duties, and there are still assets that need to be managed and distributed according to the will or the rules of intestacy.

The Grant de Bonis Non ensures that the estate administration can be completed, addressing any remaining assets, liabilities, and other matters that the original executor or administrator could not finalise. It is typically sought by the remaining beneficiaries or a new administrator to ensure the proper and complete administration of the estate.

Situations Requiring a Grant de Bonis Non

Several scenarios may necessitate the issuance of a Grant de Bonis Non:

  1. Death of the Original Executor or Administrator: If the original executor or administrator dies before completing the administration of the estate, a Grant de Bonis Non is required to appoint a new administrator to finalise the process.
  2. Incapacity or Resignation: When the original executor or administrator becomes incapacitated or resigns from their duties, leaving the estate administration incomplete, a Grant de Bonis Non is necessary to continue the process.
  3. Incomplete Administration: If the original executor or administrator did not complete the administration of the estate due to negligence or other reasons, a Grant de Bonis Non allows a new administrator to complete the process.
  4. Discovery of Additional Assets: When new assets are discovered after the original administration is presumed complete, a Grant de Bonis Non is required to address these additional assets.

The process for obtaining a Grant de Bonis Non is governed by the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 and involves several key steps:

  1. Application to the Probate Registry: The application must be submitted to the Probate Registry, detailing the necessity for the grant and the specific aspects of the estate that remain unadministered.
  2. Affidavit in Support: An affidavit must accompany the application, providing evidence of the unadministered assets or liabilities and explaining why a Grant de Bonis Non is necessary. This affidavit should include details about the previous administration and any reasons for its incompletion.
  3. Nomination of a New Administrator: The application must nominate a suitable new administrator to manage the remaining aspects of the estate. The proposed administrator should be capable and willing to fulfil the duties required.
  4. Court’s Discretion: The probate court has the discretion to issue the Grant de Bonis Non based on the necessity and completeness of the evidence provided. The court will assess the suitability of the proposed administrator to handle the remaining aspects of the estate.
  5. Scope of Authority: The grant specifies the limited authority of the new administrator, restricting their role to the management and distribution of the unadministered portions of the estate.
  6. Duration and Expiry: The Grant de Bonis Non remains in effect until the specified unadministered assets or liabilities are appropriately managed and distributed. Once this is completed, the grant expires, and the administrator’s authority ceases.

Responsibilities and Liabilities

The individual appointed under a Grant de Bonis Non, often referred to as the “administrator de bonis non,” has specific responsibilities and potential liabilities:

  1. Asset Management: The primary duty is to manage and distribute the unadministered assets of the estate. This includes securing and valuing assets, settling liabilities, and ensuring proper distribution to beneficiaries.
  2. Fiduciary Duty: The administrator de bonis non has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries, maintaining impartiality and diligence throughout the administration process.
  3. Accountability: The administrator must keep detailed records of all actions taken, including financial transactions, asset management, and communications with beneficiaries.
  4. Reporting: Regular updates to the probate court and beneficiaries are required, ensuring transparency and accountability in the administration process.
  5. Legal Compliance: The administrator must comply with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, including tax obligations, property laws, and probate regulations.

Several legal precedents provide guidance on the application and implications of a Grant de Bonis Non. Notable cases include:

  1. Re McDonald’s Estate (1906): This case highlighted the necessity of a Grant de Bonis Non when the original executor died before completing the administration of the estate. The court emphasised the importance of addressing all aspects of the estate to ensure proper distribution.
  2. Re Stevens (1910): In this case, the court considered the responsibilities and limitations of an administrator de bonis non, reinforcing the principle that their role is confined to the unadministered portions of the estate.
  3. Re Harrison’s Estate (1937): This case addressed the issue of the suitability of the proposed administrator for a Grant de Bonis Non, underscoring the court’s discretion in appointing an individual who can effectively manage the remaining aspects of the estate.

Practical Steps for Administrators de Bonis Non

For those appointed as administrators de bonis non, understanding and adhering to the scope of their authority is crucial. The following steps provide practical guidance:

  1. Identify Unadministered Assets: Conduct a thorough review of the estate to identify all unadministered assets, liabilities, and other aspects requiring attention. This includes checking bank accounts, property records, and any other relevant documentation.
  2. Engage Professional Assistance: Work closely with experienced probate solicitors and financial advisors to ensure proper management and compliance with legal standards. Professional advice is invaluable in navigating complex probate issues.
  3. Maintain Detailed Records: Keep comprehensive records of all actions, decisions, and communications related to the administration of the unadministered portions of the estate. This documentation is essential for transparency, accountability, and reporting purposes.
  4. Communicate with Beneficiaries: Regularly update beneficiaries on the status of the administration process, ensuring they are informed about the progress and any issues that arise. Clear communication helps build trust and manage expectations.
  5. Comply with Legal Obligations: Ensure compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, including tax obligations, property laws, and probate regulations. This includes filing necessary tax returns and paying any outstanding taxes or debts.
  6. Report to the Court: Regularly update the probate court on the status of the administration, providing detailed reports as required. This ensures compliance with the court’s oversight and maintains transparency.
  7. Conclude the Administration: Upon completing the administration of the unadministered assets, provide a final report to the probate court and beneficiaries detailing the actions taken and the distribution of the remaining assets.

Disputes and Resolution

Disputes may arise regarding the actions of an administrator de bonis non or the necessity of the grant itself. Resolving such disputes requires careful navigation:

  1. Mediation and Negotiation: Encourage mediation and negotiation to resolve disputes amicably. Mediators can help parties reach mutually acceptable solutions without resorting to litigation.
  2. Court Intervention: If mediation fails, seek court intervention. The court can provide clarity on the scope of the grant and address any alleged overreach by the administrator.
  3. Documentation: Maintain thorough documentation of all actions and decisions. Clear records can serve as evidence in dispute resolution and demonstrate the administrator’s adherence to their duties.
  4. professional mediation services: Consider engaging professional mediation services to facilitate dispute resolution. Mediators with experience in probate matters can help navigate complex issues and find common ground.

Conclusion

The Grant de Bonis Non is a vital tool in probate law, ensuring that all aspects of a deceased person’s estate are appropriately managed and distributed. At DLS Solicitors, we recognise the importance of this legal instrument and are committed to providing expert guidance and support to those involved in estate administration.

Administering a Grant de Bonis Non involves a delicate balance of legal knowledge, practical skills, and meticulous attention to detail. To fulfil their responsibilities effectively, the administrator must navigate the complexities of asset management, fiduciary duty, and potential disputes. By adhering to best practices and seeking professional advice when necessary, administrators can ensure the proper management of the estate during the administration process.

Ultimately, the proper administration of a Grant de Bonis Non contributes to an estate’s fair and efficient protection, safeguarding the interests of beneficiaries and honouring the deceased’s intentions. At DLS Solicitors, we support our clients through every step of the probate process, ensuring that estates are managed with the utmost care and professionalism. Whether you are an executor seeking guidance or a beneficiary with questions about your entitlements, our team is here to provide the expertise and assistance you need to navigate the complexities of probate law.

In conclusion, the Grant de Bonis Non is an essential component of probate administration that demands a thorough understanding of legal principles and practical procedures. By approaching the process with diligence, transparency, and professionalism, administrators can fulfil their responsibilities effectively and uphold the legacy of the deceased. At DLS Solicitors, we are proud to offer our clients the knowledge and support necessary to achieve these goals and ensure the proper administration of estates.

Grant de Bonis Non FAQ'S

A Grant de Bonis Non (short for “de bonis non administratis”) is a type of grant issued when an estate has not been fully administered by the original executor or administrator, often due to their death, incapacity, or removal. It allows a new administrator to complete the administration of the remaining estate.

It is required when the original executor or administrator is unable to complete the administration of the estate, and there are still assets or matters that need to be resolved or distributed.

Typically, a beneficiary or a creditor of the estate can apply for a Grant de Bonis Non. The court will determine the most appropriate person to continue the administration.

A Grant de Bonis Non is issued specifically to continue the administration of an estate that was left unfinished by the original executor or administrator, whereas a standard Grant of Probate is issued at the start of the estate administration process.

The application typically requires the original grant of probate or letters of administration, a copy of the will (if there is one), a death certificate of the original executor or administrator, and an application form (PA1P or PA1A).

The time frame can vary, but it generally takes several weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of the estate and the workload of the probate registry.

The administrator must gather and manage any remaining assets, pay any outstanding debts and taxes, and distribute the remaining estate to the beneficiaries as specified in the will or according to intestacy laws.

Yes, the issuance of a Grant de Bonis Non can be contested by interested parties, such as other beneficiaries or creditors, if they believe the appointed administrator is not suitable or if there are disputes regarding the estate.

The new administrator must review the previous administration, correct any errors, and complete the remaining tasks. They may need to seek legal advice or court guidance if significant issues are found.

While it is possible to apply without professional legal advice, it is often advisable to seek assistance from a solicitor, especially if the estate is complex or there are potential disputes among beneficiaries or creditors.

Disclaimer

This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 18th July 2024.

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Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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