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Small Estates (Succession)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1949

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asked the Attorney-General if he is aware that the limit imposed by Section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act, 1925, which deals with succession to real and personal estates on intestacy, inflicts, in cases of small estates, hardship on the surviving spouse owing to the present increase in the value of property; and if he will take steps to diminish this hardship by increasing from £1,000 to £2,000 the capital sum to which the intestate's surviving spouse may become entitled under this Section.

While there may well be hardship in certain of the cases referred to by my hon. and learned Friend, it is clear that any increase in the amount of property taken by a surviving spouse must adversely affect the interests of any children or other relatives entitled on intestacy. I regret that I am unable to hold out any prospect of legislation on this subject in the near future.