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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12188
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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A friend of ours has died with no family in the UK. We know

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A friend of ours has died with no family in the UK. We know of one cousin in Poland and his family. Under the law is it acceptable for that one person to receive the estate of the deceased ?
Thank you for your question.
If the cousin is the closest surviving relative then he will be the sole beneficiary, assuming there is no will.
Happy to discuss further.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There is no will, but do we legally have to try and find other family member's and use genealogists services, or in the eyes of the law it is acceptable that this one cousin inherits? what about his brothers and sisters? Can he distribute the estate to his family without having to individually write to each person?

What authority do you have to do anything here? If there is no will, there is no executor and all you can legally do as a friend is contact the family and let them deal with it.
However, in answer to your question if there is more than one relative, more than one may be entitled to share the estate under intestacy laws.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They wish to grant me the power of authority, and deal with the sending of the estate to them. I just want to be clear what the law states, that this one beneficiary can inherit and distribute how he wishes.

No, the law doesn't say that. The executor distributes the estate amongst the beneficiaries in accordance with the law. You have no legal right to be an executor. Only the deceased or a court can appoint an executor.. As ther is no will the former doesn't apply and the court will seek to appoint the nearest living relative.
But a beneficiary definitely does not have any authority to receive the whole estate and distribute it. Only the executor has the power to ingather and distribute the estate.
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