1. Grant de bonis non
When the grantee himself has died without fully administering the estate of the deceased, unless there is a chain of executorship, a further or a new grant is required to appoint a personal representative in respect of the unadministered estate.
Under s.34 of the Probate and Administration Ordinance (Cap. 10), chain of executorship applies when the deceased executor dies after proving the deceased testator’s will and the executor obtains a grant of probate to the deceased executor’s will. If the executor of the deceased executor proves the unbroken chain, he is the executor of every preceding testator.
A grant de bonis non may be made to any person who is equally entitled as the previous grantee.
If the deceased grantee was the only person taking a beneficial interest in the residuary estate of the deceased (e.g. the only person entitled to the estate on an intestacy, or the sole residuary legatee and devise named in a will), a grant de bonis non will be made to his personal representative.
The personal representative of the deceased grantee should first apply for a ‘leading grant’ in the estate of the deceased grantee before applying for the grant de bonis non.
Where the deceased was survived by a surviving spouse, by virtue of r.21(5) of Non-Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A), the personal representative of a person in any of the classes mentioned in r.21(1) and in r.21(2) shall be preferred to the personal representative of a spouse who had died without taking a beneficial interest in the whole estate of the deceased as ascertained at the time of the application for the grant.
The general rule applies: a living person is preferred (except by direction of a registrar) to the personal representative of a deceased person who had an equal title to a grant.
To apply for the grant de bonis non, it must be established that there is no chain of executorship and all executors named in the will of the deceased must be cleared off, i.e. by reciting their death or renunciation. This must be done by the appropriate form of affirmation or affidavit (Form no. S3.1a (or S3.1b) (without will) or S3.2a (or S3.2b) (with will)).