Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

A bachelor uncle died without making a will five years ago. It came to light that he had a brother, who went to America after the war. The solicitor dealing with the estate has traced some of the brother’s children, who have been asked to provide birth, marriage and death certificates. Only some of these have been sent in. We’re told there’s no time limit for this, but we’re anxious for the estate to be wound up. Can anything be done?

The solicitor will have to be able to show that he has made every effort to trace possible beneficiaries before winding up the estate. However the unknown beneficiaries will only be entitled to a portion of the brother’s share, so it may be possible to distribute the remainder of the estate subject to keeping back sufficient for expenses.

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