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Claiming an Inheritance

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 16 Jul 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Inheritance Deceased Will Intestate

In reality, claiming an inheritance should be straightforward; the deceased’s will is read out and all heirs receive their entitlements. But claiming an inheritance is not always this straightforward especially when a person dies intestate.

Straightforward Inheritance Claims

If a person has died and left a will then claiming an inheritance should be straightforward. The appointed executor of the will should have contacted a solicitor and should have dealt with paying all debts from the estate. The executor should also contact all heirs mentioned in the will. If the executor is having difficulty contacting the heirs he or she may place an advertisement in national or local press. The executor, or sometimes a solicitor, will be the person who passes on any inheritance to the heirs.

Inheritance Claims and Will Disputes

Even if a will has been made by a deceased relative the actual inheritance claim may not be all that straightforward. In some cases conflicts and disputes over the will can arise from the deceased’s relatives. This may be over the validity of the will or the fact that the will was changed at some point. It may also be the case that an heir will claim that the will was written while the person was of unfit capacity through illness. A dispute may also occur if one heir thinks that the deceased was influenced by another at the time of writing in order to financially gain. These disputes are not pleasant and it may be down to the courts to judge, which can be costly and time consuming.

If a Person Dies Intestate

When a person dies intestate it means they have died without leaving a will. This can be complicated and the heirs may have to wait months or even years before they can receive any inheritance. A person will be required to act as an administrator of the estate but to do this they must apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Letters of Administration. A solicitor may be required to help when applying for the grant or the person can simply apply through an application. If the person is appointed as administrator they can then access banks and distribute funds to others.

Claiming an Inheritance if There is No Will

The law sets out who is entitled to an inheritance if the person has died intestate. In simplified terms the rules of who inherits if there is no will include:

  • Prior to 1st Feb 2009, the spouse or civil partner will inherit if the net estate is not over £200,000
  • If the net estate is over £200,000, the spouse or civil partner will inherit £200,000 plus half of the remaining amount
  • The parents of the deceased can claim the other half of the balance, or brothers and sisters or children
  • Post 1st Feb 2009, the spouse or civil partner can claim for a net estate that is not over £450,000
  • If the net estate is over £450,000, the spouse or civil partner will inherit £450,000 plus half of the remaining amount
  • The parents of the deceased can claim the other half of the balance, or brothers and sisters or children
  • Relatives of the deceased such as sisters and brothers must be full blood relatives in order to claim
  • If the deceased’s parents have died then the brothers, sisters and children will be the next to claim

Rules on Civil Partners and Claiming an Inheritance

Those who were civil partners living with the deceased but not married will not automatically be entitled to receive an estate. If the deceased did not include provisions for a civil partner they will be required to make a claim under the rules of the Inheritance Act 1975. Making a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975, which will include claims made by children, will mean providing proof that the claimants were maintained by the deceased. This means either wholly or partly maintained by the deceased. Claims can be made up to six months after the grant of letter of administration has been applied to an administrator.

Claiming an inheritance is not always straightforward, especially when a person dies intestate. Anyone who feels they should have been entitled to some part of an inheritance should take advice from a solicitor. Claiming an inheritance can be a complicated process and solicitors will be able to assess the likelihood of a successful claim.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Dear. Sir.Kindly.A.M.Looking.For. Unclaimed. Funds.To. Claim.As.A.Next. Of.Kin.To. Share.As.Partners. If. Nobody.Applies. To claim
Mbogosh - 16-Jul-15 @ 2:55 PM
Hello - I have found my old premium bond number and wondered if it is worth Anything - no 3FS702966 ( value £5) and fathers 2AL015702 (£1) and 2AL015703 £1 . I will forward copy marriage certificate in near future . I await your reply . Many thanks Mrs Rebecca Jackson
Barnsey - 21-Jan-14 @ 10:58 AM
Hallo, we have a premuim saving bond slip, issued somewhere in the 1960 lol, stamp a bit faint. the serial nr is 2BB 941211. for 2 pounds!!!after all these years it was cept safe. is it worth something?inquering on behalf of paul hanson (my husband) who's name is written on it. he got it as a child from his parents.regards paul and lizette hanson
lizette - 30-May-12 @ 11:08 AM
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