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Intestacy

Volume 494: debated on Friday 19 June 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average cost to the public purse was of managing the estate of a person dying intestate without relatives in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average time taken to distribute such an estate was in the latest period for which figures are available. (281314)

The Bona Vacantia Division at the Treasury Solicitor deals with estates over £500 where the deceased person has died intestate without known entitled kin and is domiciled in England and Wales (except Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster).

The average cost for dealing with these estates is £1,549. This is based on 2008-09 data (the most recent complete financial year).

These estates are not distributed. Assets are collected and liabilities of the estate are paid. Once the administration of the estate is fully completed the balance of monies held are forwarded to the Treasury, to go into the Consolidated Fund.

Based on 2008-09 data, the average time taken to deal with an estate where a grant of Letters of Administration is required from the Probate Registry Office (net estates over £15,000) is 92.33 days. The figure provided is taken from the date the grant was received to the date the file was closed.

In cases where a grant of Letters of Administration is not needed (net estates less than £15,000) the average time taken to deal with these estates is 140.03 days. This figure is taken from the date a file is open to the date the file is closed.