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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12082
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I live in Scotland. My aunt has left an estate of some thousands

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I live in Scotland. My aunt has left an estate of some thousands of pounds, but left no will. As the nephew entrusted to deal with the matter, I do not know whether to share the money among the families of her five siblings; thus each family would receive one fifth of the estate and could divide that portion as they chose; or, share the money among her twelve nephews and nieces, in which case we would each receive one twelfth. It should also be pointed out that there is one sister alive, who has indicated that any monies accruing to her should be shared among her grandchildren, so that as of now she lives in a Nursing Home supported by her State Pension, and also a sister in law who might well appreciate one fifth of the money available. What do you think and is there a defining answer?
Thank you for your question.

The answer is as follows:

Assuming your aunt had no husband or children, her brothers and sisters share the estate equally.

The children of any predeceasing brothers and children inherit their deceased parents's share between them.

The sister you refer to can ask for her share to go to her grandchildren and should instruct you as executor in writing to that effect.

The sister in law has no claim unless the beneficiaries agree to give her something.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is it right that should there be no surviving siblings the estate should be divided equally among the nephews and nieces?

If there are no siblings that is correct but you said in your original narrative that there is a sister still alive.