1. Q: What should I do if I want to administer an estate?
A: There is no simple answer to this question because it depends on a number of factors. Nonetheless, if the Deceased died domiciled in Hong Kong and his estate is also located in Hong Kong, you may consider two matters first, namely: (a) the date of death of the Deceased, and (b) the value and nature of the estate.
2. Q: Who can submit the application for Grant?
A: If the Deceased left a Will, usually it is the executor who should submit the application. If no executor is appointed or that no executor is able or willing to act for whatever reasons, Rule 19 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rule (Cap. 10A) governs the order of priority for different persons to make the application. If the Deceased did not leave a Will, Rule 21 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rule (Cap. 10A) regulates it. The order of priority is: (a) spouse, (b) the child or one of the children of the Deceased, (c) the father or mother of the Deceased, (d) the brother or sister of the Deceased.
3. Q: Who should make the application?
A: As a general rule, the one with higher priority should file the application for Grant. However, a person having a lower priority may still be entitled to the Grant if the persons with higher priority have either died or renounced their rights to the Grant. Evidence of death or renunciation has to be filed with the Probate Registry.
4. Q: Is there any requirement as to the number of applicant(s)?
A: A Grant shall be issued to no more than 4 persons, and not less than 2 persons for an estate involving minor beneficiary and/or someone who is entitled to enjoy an interest for life (commonly known as minority and/or life interest respectively).
5. Q: Do I need to pay if I apply for a Grant?
A: Court fees are payable in accordance with the Second Schedule of the High Court Fees Rule (Cap. 4D). For persons who died before 11 February 2006, the court fees include (a) $265 fee for filing an application, (b) $72 fee for engrossment of a Grant, and (c) Scale fee for processing an application for Grant. For persons who died on or after 11 February 2006, the court fees include (a) $265 fee for filing an application, (b) $72 fee for engrossment of a Grant. Scale fee for processing an application for Grant is cancelled.