Probate Question: Intestacy Afternoon, my cousin has just died and he is 1 of 4 brothers. He was single and had no children. We can’t find a will anywhere but he hated all his brothers but 1. He didn’t speak to those siblings for approximately 30 years and they wouldn’t even know when he died. Do they have any entitlement to the estate? Can we fight this anyway so that they do not receive anything, he wouldn’t have wanted them even at his funeral.
Probate question answer Intestacy:
Dying without a valid Last Will is known as Intestacy.
Without a Will it sounds like the brothers will inherit equally. Under the Rules of Intestacy, there is a specific order in which family members inherit, and if there are none, then under the Rules of Intestacy, the estate goes to the Government! All you can really do is try to find a Will – there are a few tips on www.WillCustodian.co.uk.
Someone will have to sort out the estate, and probably the one sibling he liked would be the appropriate one, though he/ she won’t have any influence on where the money goes, sadly. If relatively low cost help is needed, please point them in our direction!
If there is no will, the spouse does not automatically inherit everything, nor does an unmarried partner get anything at all! At least, not without a fight or a lot of goodwill from the family members who will inherit automatically.
The Rules of Intestacy have spawned a whole industry as the Treasury Solicitor holds probably billions of pounds which could be claimed by folk who have no idea that they stand to inherit from remote relatives. You have probably seen “Heir Hunters” on TV. Without the Rules of Intestacy there would be a lot less of them!
For more information on Probate and the Rules of Intestacy, use our contact page.