No Will - Intestacy Rules Solicitors - UK Probate Advice
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Intestacy refers to the situation where a deceased person has not made a will but has left assets. In this case the law determines who will inherit those assets. The Intestacy Rules dictate the order of priority of potential beneficiaries based on their relationship with the testator. In order to deal with the estate of a deceased person who has not left a will it is usually necessary for one of the potential beneficiaries to make application to the Probate Registry of the High Court of Justice for a Grant of Letters of Administration which will give that person the right to collect in the assets and pay all liabilities before distributing the net estate in accordance with the intestacy rules. Intestacy does not preclude a dependant from challenging the distribution if adequate provision has not been made for their needs. The Intestacy Rules are complex and who receives what depends on the personal circumstances of the deceased, family relationships, whether or not there are children or a cohabitee, the amount of the estate and the existence of dependants. Given the complexity of the Intestacy Rules, potential claimants are well advised to obtain advice from a specialist probate solicitor.
Who Can Inherit
Those who can claim include parents, siblings, nieces and nephews dependent on whether there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, children, grandchildren or great grandchildren and the amount of the estate. There are separate rules for nieces and nephews dependent on whether or not the direct relative has also died. The intestacy rules appear at first sight to be very restrictive in the degrees of relationship that are entitled to claim a share of the estate however some of those not covered by the Intestacy Rules may be able to make a claim against the estate using the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. People who have no claim under the Intestacy Rules include unmarried partners, lesbian or homosexual partners not in a civil partnership, relationships by marriage, close friends and carers. If there are no potential claimants under the Intestacy Rules and no applicants under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 then the entire estate may be forfeited to the Crown and the assets may transfer in to the coffers of the Chancellor of the Exchequer under the bona vacantia regulations.
Grant from the Estate
A person who would have expected to benefit from the estate of a deceased person but did not can apply for a grant from that persons estate. For example if you provided the deceased person with free services including washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, home repairs or care for which they might otherwise have had to pay or you lived together as a partner or a friend but where not married you may be able to make application for a share of the estate even though you were not related to that person.
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