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The ‘intestacy rules’ govern the distribution of a deceased’s estate when the deceased has died either:
In these circumstances the entire estate will be governed by the intestacy rules.
In these circumstances the rules will only apply to the deceased’s property that does not pass under the Will.
The order of persons entitled to apply for grant of administration is governed by the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987. The order broadly follows the order of entitlement to share in the estate of the intestate (as seen below). For anyone in a lower category wishing to obtain the grant they would have to satisfactorily account for all those in a higher category.
The obtaining of a grant can be stressful and time consuming. It can involve a personal attendance at Court. Kew Law LLP can prepare the papers that lead to a grant of administration and make an application to the Court on your behalf.
For deaths after 1 October 2014:-
The spouse or civil partner inherits the full estate regardless of whether there are surviving parents or not.
The spouse (or civil partner) is entitled to:
The remaining one half is shared equally among the children.
All property passing to the surviving spouse or civil partner under these rules passes tax free as if it enjoys the benefit of the inheritance tax spouse/civil partner exemption.
The whole estate will pass to the children of the deceased in equal shares. If any of the children have died leaving issue, then the issue will receive their parents’ share per stirpes.
If there are no surviving spouse/civil partner or issue, the order of entitlement to share in the estate is as follows:
If there are no surviving relatives entitled to qualify in the estate then the Crown takes the residuary estate as “bona vacantia”.
There is no entitlement under the intestacy rules for a divorced spouse or a spouse judicially separated but he/she may be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 through the Courts. Similar provisions apply where the deceased left a surviving civil partner.
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