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Wills & Probate

Assent & Intestacy Support in Essex

The intricacies of Wills and probate can be difficult to navigate, but our team of solicitors and paralegals will guide you through the transfer of an estate or the sale of a property after the death of a loved one, ensuring that it is handled with sensitivity and professionalism.

We have a whole team dedicated to finding a solution to your problem.


What is: Assent?

Assent is the act of transferring a deceased person’s estate and personal belongings to the beneficiaries named in the Will. An assent document is drawn up to transfer legal ownership of the property or land. This also involves changing title deeds and updating land registry assent documentation. The assent of a property is referred to as taking place on the day the documents are dated, meaning from this day onwards the property belongs to the new owners and from that date they will be responsible for it.

What is: Intestacy?

If a person dies leaving a valid will then their estate will be passed to beneficiaries according to the wishes in the will. However, if someone dies without having made a valid Will they are described as having passed away intestate and their estate will be processed and divided according to a set of rules known as the rules of intestacy. These rules determine the nature of the assent of the property and who can and can’t inherit, in order of priority. This order of priority can vary depending on which relatives are left behind and if the deceased was in fact married. Being married usually sees the majority of an estate being transferred to the spouse or civil partner.


If the estate is valued at over £250,000 then any surplus above this will be divided equally between the spouse and any children in equal shares. However, if the deceased was unmarried then children or grandchildren (if their parents are not living) will be the next in line for inheritance and will receive equal shares of the estate once they turn 18. For the consideration of intestacy, both biological and adopted children are treated equally. However, if the deceased was not married and has no children then the next consideration will be to trace other living relatives i.e. siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins.

If the deceased is found to have no living relatives, then the whole of the estate will be signed over to the crown. Unfortunately, unmarried partners of the deceased have no legal claim on intestacy.

Lasting Power of Attorney?

Who is Responsible and How to Deal with an Intestate Estate

If someone is named in a will to deal with the distribution of the estate, they are automatically granted authority to do this and are referred to as the administrator or executor. Although the person named may still have to complete a legal document first granting them probate. However, if the person named isn’t willing to take on this responsibility or no will has been made, therefore leaving the estate intestate, then either the next of kin or a close relative will need to be appointed to act as an administrator.

This can be done by submitting an application to the Probate Register for a ‘grant of representation’. Again, this administration is granted in an order of priority from married or civil partner of the deceased through to a nephew or niece or other living relative in that order.

Once the representation is completed the administrator will be responsible for activities such as collating all financial documentation of the deceased, sending death certificates, valuing property, preparing documents for the probate registry and HM Revenue and Customs, paying outstanding monies owed by the deceased and sharing out the estate.

Why Use an Assent and Intestacy Solicitor?

Whilst an administrator can carry out activities required and be responsible for sharing out the value of an estate without legal assistance, it is advisable to seek the advice of an assent and intestacy solicitor if the estate includes various complex factors. These can include monies left in a trust, beneficiaries who are minors or an estate which includes land or property abroad. Any legal fees accrued for doing so can be paid out of the estate.

Here at Hook and Partners we have assent and intestacy solicitors in Essex and assent and intestacy solicitors in Canvey Island who can assist you with your needs and requirements.


Speak to our friendly team to find out how we can help you.

Related services

Contentious Probate

If you’re facing an issue or dispute surrounding the validity of a Will, we’ll work closely with you and those involved to find the most effective solution to your problem.


Our solicitors will draft a Will which ensures your wishes are respected and helps to secure the financial future of your loved ones.