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Probate when dying intestate?

Researching the wills and probate records for a particular family in my tree, I have found that the youngest son applied to be executor of the estate on the deaths of a number of his elder siblings who died intestate. There were older siblings still alive at the time.

I was wondering if anyone knows how probate works when some dies intestate. Can any relation apply to become the executor of the estate? Will that application be granted as long as nobody else comes forward or contests it? Should it not have been offered to the older sibling first?

Also, what can the person who is granted executor status do? Do they have to carve up the estate amongst all siblings as surely they are all entitled to an equal share? Or can be just award himself all the money?

Thanks for any thoughts.
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