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Inheritance and the family: attitudes to will-making and intestacy

Humphrey, Alun, Mills, Lisa, Morrell, Gareth, Douglas, Gilian and Woodward, Hilary Diana 2010. Inheritance and the family: attitudes to will-making and intestacy. [Project Report]. National Centre for Social Research. Available at:

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In England and Wales, testators are relatively free to leave their estate as they wish under a valid will, subject to the provisions of the 1975 Act. Where a person has died intestate, again subject to these provisions, the position is governed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925. The estate is shared amongst the family in accordance with the rules of distribution contained in section 46 of the Act. Where there are surviving children (either adult or dependent), the spouse receives a ‘statutory legacy’ of £250,000 and a life interest in half the remainder of the estate. If there are no children, but there are surviving close relatives, the spouse receives £450,000 and half the balance absolutely. If none of these is applicable, the spouse takes the whole estate absolutely. In the absence of a surviving spouse/civil partner or descendant of the deceased, there is provision for his or her parents, siblings or remoter blood relatives to inherit, in order of priority.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: National Centre for Social Research
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:46

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