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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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5 cousins have inherited in equal proportions the estate of

Customer Question

5 cousins have inherited in equal proportions the estate of another cousin who has died.
The value of the estate is about 1,000,000 pounds after inheritance tax has been paid.
There are no other beneficiaries.
However one of the cousins cannot be located and his proportion is being held in a joint
account opened by the other 4 cousins.
How long needs to elapse before that account can be distributed to the remaining 4
cousins assuming that the fifth cousin has died and has not left a will.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.
Do you have a specific question?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 years ago.





It depends what the will say as to whether this goes to the remaining
beneficiaries or stays with the one that you cannot find.

Firstly, you have to make all attempts to find him using international
tracing agents although the cost of that can be deducted from whatever he has
inherited.



You have to find out whether he died before the person writing the will or
after.



If he died before the person leaving the will and the section 33 of the
Wills act is not excluded that whatever he was left goes to his children if he
has any. If he has not section 3 of the Wills act is excluded, and he died
before the person leaving the will and his share goes to the surviving
beneficiaries.



If he died after the person writing the will, then what he has inherited
either passes in accordance with his own will or in accordance with the rules
of intestacy which are here http://www.graysons.co.uk/wills-intestacy.html



he may have other relatives that the surviving beneficiaries and in this
respect, the executors are probably going to have to use a firm of genealogists.



It is not simply a case of waiting for a period of time and the survivors
then taking the money.



At the end of all this, it is essential for the executors to take out an
indemnity policy in the eventuality that beneficiaries come out of the woodwork
and who were not paid



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