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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M46S

A man separated from his wife several years ago. They remained friends and did not divorce. The man began to cohabit with his partner three years ago. Six weeks ago, the man, his wife, and their daughter (aged 21) were in a car crash whilst on their way to attend the daughter’s graduation ceremony. The man was killed instantly. The wife and daughter died the following day. The cohabitee is still alive. The man has no other relatives. He died intestate and his net estate passing under the intestacy rules is £1,500,000. Which of the following best describes how the man’s estate will be distributed?

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Under the rules of intestacy, if a person dies without a will and is survived by a spouse and children, the estate is typically divided among them. However, in this scenario, since the wife and daughter died within a short time after the man, the survivorship rules apply. The man’s estate would be treated as if the wife and daughter predeceased him, hence the estate will pass to the next in line. Given there are no other relatives, the estate will pass entirely to the daughter’s estate. The cohabitee has no right to inherit under the intestacy rules. 

Key Point: Intestacy rules dictate that if there are no surviving spouses or direct descendants alive at the time of distribution, the estate passes to the next of kin. Cohabitees do not have automatic rights under intestacy laws unless specified in a will.

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