The Inheritance Guide

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Working out which Key People you need to consider.

In order to complete this section you will need to have to hand details about the key people relevant to the estate, such as beneficiaries and executors if the deceased let a Will, or the next of kin if there is no Will. You will need this information when applying for probate. This information will be collected in the PA1 form and be used to determine whether any exemptions apply to the estate. This is particularly important when determining which probate forms are required.

When answering questions about the key people you will need to know:

  • their full name and address
  • relationship to the deceased
  • contact details
  • are they beneficiaries

It is useful to have sight of the following documents when completing these details:

  • formal identification for this person, such as a birth certificate
  • death certificate if applicable
  • the deceased’s Will / rules of intestacy

The reason for needing formal identification is, as the executor / personal representative, you have a duty to ensure that you are administering the estate and later distributing it to the correct people.


It is worth mapping out a family tree. Our system will prompt you for the right beneficiaries and this can sometimes be better understood in the context a family tree.

Intestacy Issue

It cannot be assumed that a spouse/civil partner will inherit the whole estate. A spouse has priority over other possible beneficiaries but may have to share the estate.

It is important to understand that if the deceased had a child/children who had predeceased them, but had left children, then those children would be considered issue and therefore benefit from that predeceased beneficiaries share. This means the deceased beneficiary’s children or other lineal descendants such as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Will Issue

There may be situations in the Will where a beneficiary’s issue is to be considered, and if deceased, their issue is to inherit their entitlement. This means the deceased beneficiary’s children or other lineal descendants such as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While a child or children are alive, issue refers only to them, but if they are deceased then it will apply to the next generation unless there is language in the document which shows it specifically does not apply to them.

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