Daniel Curran MD, Finders International talks Intestate Succession Rules and who Inherits - The Malvern Observer

Daniel Curran MD, Finders International talks Intestate Succession Rules and who Inherits

Malvern Editorial 26th Jun, 2023   0

Intestate succession rules in England and Wales determine how an individual’s assets are distributed when they pass away without a valid will.

No Will? Then intestate succession law is used

Daniel Curran, Finders International comments, “A recent survey by the charity will-writing scheme, Will Aid, identified that more than half of UK adults have yet to make a will. Those who die without a valid will may leave their loved ones with little control over their assets, and potentially open to costly legal challenges and delays in sorting out the estate.”

While creating a will is essential to ensure the smooth distribution of assets after death, many individuals in England and Wales fail to plan ahead. In such cases, the Intestacy Rules come into play. These rules are designed to distribute the deceased’s assets in a specific order, primarily based on blood relationships, ensuring fairness and providing clarity in the absence of a will.

Spouse or Civil Partner’s Entitlement

If the deceased is survived by a spouse or civil partner, they are entitled to inherit a significant portion of the estate. The Intestacy Rules grant the surviving spouse or civil partner the first right to the estate, including personal chattels, a statutory legacy, and a share of the remaining estate. The specific entitlement depends on the value of the estate and whether the deceased has surviving children or other relatives.

Distribution to Children and Descendants

If the deceased has children but no surviving spouse or civil partner, the Intestacy Rules dictate that the children inherit the estate. The estate is divided equally among the children, regardless of their age or financial circumstances. If a child predeceases the deceased but leaves behind their own descendants, those descendants may inherit their parent’s share of the estate.

Entitlement of Other Relatives

In cases where the deceased has no surviving spouse, civil partner, children, or descendants, the Intestacy Rules define a specific order of entitlement for other relatives. This includes parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and other blood relatives. The order of entitlement ensures that close relatives are given priority in inheriting the estate, providing structure and clarity to the distribution process.

You can read more about Intestacy Rules, here.

Claims and Disputes

In some situations, individuals who believe they should have been included in the distribution under the Intestacy Rules may contest the distribution or make a claim against the estate. Such disputes can be complex and require legal intervention to resolve. It is generally advisable for potential claimants to seek legal advice to understand their rights and options in these circumstances.

Understanding the Intestate Succession Rules in England and Wales is crucial to ensure a fair distribution of assets in the absence of a will, avoiding potential conflicts and confusion.

Could you be the recipient of an unexpected windfall?

Most of us would like to answer a resounding “yes” to that question, especially if the sum is substantial, but how do you go about finding out if you are the entitled relative to an Unclaimed Inheritance as per the rules of succession?

A good starting point is the Bona Vacantia list, which lists unclaimed estates for public use in England and Wales. Updated daily, it details the estates of those who have died without a valid will in place and who appear to have no next of kin to claim the estate. If you recognise any of the names on that list, you might be in line to inherit all or part of that estate.

Recognise a name on the list?

Daniel Curran Finders shares his advice, “In order to make a claim on the estate, you will need to prove your relationship to the deceased.

It’s also key to note that the value of an unclaimed estate on the Bona Vacantia list isn’t known until it is claimed. Therefore, you risk finding yourself out of pocket if you pursue the claim yourself due to legal fees. Reputable heir hunting firms do not ask for fees upfront and will only take money once the value of the estate is realised.”

If you think you might be entitled to one of the unclaimed estates listed on the Bona Vacantia List you can contact Danny’s team at Finders International, here. They specialise in tracing heirs to property, estates, assets and unclaimed funds worldwide.

You never know… it could be you!

This is a submitted article

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