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Intestacy rules

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  • Intestacy rules

    Hi, To cut a long story short my father's first cousin passed away without leaving a will. The closest surviving relatives are my father and his brother and sisters so are all first cousins. A cousin once removed has come forward and also staked a claim to the estate, his mother would have been a first cousin but she had died before the deceased so did not have a vested interest. Is he entitled to a claim in the estate even though there are closer surviving relatives? I realise he would have been entitled to his mother's share, but only if there were no closer relatives Please help I have searched websites but can not find a clear answer.

    Just as an aside, this person has also put in for letter of administration over my father even though he didn't know the deceased and only found out about this after he was approached by heir hunters, my father is down as next of kin but this person seems to think he is within his rights to do this and has not taken my father's feelings in to consideration.

    Thanks for your help.
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  • #2
    Re: Intestacy rules

    Hi & welcome
    Assuming this relates to England or Wales, & assuming there are no closer relatives, the order of priority for inheriting is:

    • grandparents
    • uncles and aunts. A cousin can inherit instead if the uncle or aunt who would have inherited died before the intestate person
    • half-uncles and half-aunts. A half-cousin can inherit instead if the half-uncle or half-aunt who would have inherited died before the intestate person.

    The next of kin are responsible for administering the estate when there’s no Will and the law sets out the order of priority for who is considered next of kin:

    1 Husband, wife or registered civil partner
    2 Children
    3 Grandchildren
    4 The parents
    5 The brothers and sisters
    6 Nieces and nephews
    7 Half brothers and sisters
    8 Children of half brothers and sisters.
    9 Grandparents
    10 Uncles and aunts
    11 Cousins
    12 Half uncles and aunts
    13 Children of half uncles and aunts


    • #3
      Re: Intestacy rules

      Thanks for your reply. Where does a cousin once removed stand? Can they still inherit if there are closer relatives (first cousins in this case)?


      • #4
        Re: Intestacy rules

        I suggest he stands in the corner with his face to the wall .
        Nothing like a death in the family to bring out the vultures.
        My understanding is, in the absence of a will, as his mother predeceased your father's cousin, this second cousin who has popped out of the woodwork is entitled to nothing.

        Example An intestate person dies leaving £100,000. He has 3 first cousins and 2 second cousins as the only relatives. Their precise relationship to the deceased is shown below
        First and Second cousins

        O♂ is the deceased; P♀, Q♀ and R♂ are his first cousins; and S♀ and T♀ are his second cousins.

        The second cousins (S and T) would not receive anything, the entire estate would pass to the first cousins (P, Q and R). However, the first cousins would not inherit equally, because first cousins only benefit if no aunts or uncles survive. Each uncle's or aunt's share is divided between his or her children. Since one uncle had two children and the other only one, cousin P would receive £50,000 and cousins Q and R would each only receive £25,000.
        If one of the cousins is already dead, his or her children (not shown), who have the relationship of first cousins once removed (forwards), to the deceased, would share that cousin's inheritance.


        • #5
          Re: Intestacy rules

          Yes with his hands on his head :tinysmile_twink_t2:

          That is what we thought because she died before the deceased, she no longer has a vested interest. Actually finding that written down somewhere is proving difficult but I will continue me search.

          Thanks very much for your help.


          • #6
            Re: Intestacy rules

            The heir hunters presumably failed to tell this second cousin that he was too far removed to inherit, or he was told and is chancing his arm!

            You might find this site useful:


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