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LLB UNIT 10 SUCCESSION - Essay Example

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(a) Mrs Muriel Mould died suddenly aged 71 without leaving a will. She had been a widow for 20 years. She left two sisters Isabel and Clara who were both older than her and two sons - Henry aged 45 and Len aged 42. Her only daughter Susan died last year aged 39 after a long illness…
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Download file to see previous pages Henry and Len call in to see you and ask the following questions:-
Having died without leaving a will or without having made a valid will, Mrs Mould will be considered to have died intestate and therefore the rules of intestacy governed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (as amended) and the Intestates Act, 1952 (and various other amendments contained in the Family Provision Act, 1966, The Family Law Reform Act, 1969 and The Family Provision (Intestate Succession) Order, 1972) apply to her estate, which is worth approximately 238,000.
By not leaving a will any wishes Mrs Mould had for the allocation of her estate to friends, relatives and other beneficiaries will be ignored. How the estate will be allocated depends on the value of the estate and the deceased's family circumstances. The law in this area is concerned with bloodlines, rather than merit, or the verbally expressed will of the intestate. Not only does it recognise human improvidence, but also that calamities and unfairness occurs within human affairs. It sets out to ensure that there is no discrimination on personal whim. It is not concerned with blame. Due to the increasing complexity of family trees, this area can become ripe for litigation. However, Mrs Mould could be described as being from a 'once-normal nuclear family' where the bloodlines are easily ascertained.
If there is both a spouse and children then all personal poss...
2. Surviving children (referred to as 'issue').
3. Surviving parents.
4. Surviving brothers and sisters of whole blood ie having the same biological parents.
5. Surviving relations of a lesser degree.
In the event that the surviving spouse is the only living relative of the deceased (ie no parents or siblings of whole blood), then the estate passes absolutely to that spouse.
If there is both a spouse and children then all personal possessions (except business property) and the first 125,000 goes to the remaining spouse free of death duty (inheritance tax) and costs absolutely, with (if possible) interest. The remaining spouse is also entitled to a life interest in half of the residue which is to be invested in a trust from which the spouse will receive income during his/her lifetime. The remaining property then goes to the children via 'statutory trusts'.
The definition of 'Statutory trusts' can be found in s.47 Administration of Estates Act 1925. The deceased's property will be held in equal shares for all 'living' (including unborn) children of the estate. On the death of the remaining spouse the children automatically inherit the remaining capital once they reach their majority, ie under current UK law, the child either attains the age of eighteen and/or marries before that age.
If there are children but no spouse the estate is shared equally among the children via a statutory trust. Importantly, the child or children of any deceased child (ie grandchildren) will get the share of their deceased parent and if more than one, in equal shares.
Where the only remaining relatives are the spouse and whole blood relatives as described above, then the spouse inherits all personal chattels, the first 200,000 plus a life-interest in half of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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