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.
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.