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If a person is due to inherit, but dies before probate is completed, what happens?

(9 Posts)
R0nJ0n Wed 18-Nov-15 11:13:46

My great aunt (GA) died in September, my grandfather(GF), her brother, died at the end of October.

Although we don't know the details of GA's will we think it's very probable that as GF was her closest living relative she has left all or part of her estate to him. My GF in turn has left the bulk of his estate to myself and my mother, this isn't speculation as we know the details of his will.

We are actually hoping that GA hasn't left GF her major assets, which are a successful ongoing but very niche business, her home, the outbuildings which contain her business, and the couple of acres of land all this is cited on. Neither or us want to be responsible for the business or for trying to wind it up and sell the land.

Will probate on my GA's will hold up probate on my GF's will, or would GA's will be treated as a separate matter?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 18-Nov-15 11:35:29

Don't know what the hold up will be, but the will should state whether GF's share of anything left to him by GA should pass to his descendants if he dies before her, or whether any other beneficiaries of GA's will will get a share of GFs share (ie if there were three beneficiaries, surviving 2 might get half each, instead of one third each IYSWIM).

However, if GF died after GA, but while will was in probate, I should think that he had technically inherited, so that HIS will will stipulate what happens to anything that belongs to him (which would include what he'd inherited from GA).

Does that make sense?

R0nJ0n Wed 18-Nov-15 12:10:33

Thanks. Ive just found the order of service from GA's funeral, she died on 20th September, GF died on 31st October. I'm assuming probate would have started on her will before his death, but I'm no expert in this area (hence the questions).

With any luck GA has left the bulk of her estate to her employees, one of whom has worked for her for over twenty years, or to charity. That's what we're hoping for anyway. The only things we'd like is anything relating to the family, especially as my mum and I are all that's left now.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 18-Nov-15 12:23:39

You could always give your share of the business to the employees themselves I suppose. They must be feeling in limbo too now, so maybe worth sending them word of what's going on?

SocksRock Wed 18-Nov-15 12:26:02

If she hasn't, and all the beneficiaries are in agreement you can do a Deed of Variation to transfer the assets to the employees.

chipsandpeas Wed 18-Nov-15 12:28:03

first thing is contact the executor of your GA's will to at least let them know your GF has died incase he was in the will and take it from there

Luxyelectro Wed 18-Nov-15 12:30:41

Probate can take ages. Not a specific answer to your question but my father died in July and probate still hasn't been granted.

R0nJ0n Wed 18-Nov-15 12:37:09

The employees know GF has died. It's really hard because they don't really know us, GA lived a good hour from us and wasn't very sociable, her business was her whole life. We don't want the employees thinking that we are money grabbing or after GA's business, but I'm also not sure how well it'll sustain without her in charge.

I hope it won't out me to say the main bulk of her business was breeding one very specific type of pedigree dog. I know almost nothing about dog breeding, but I get the feeling that when done ethically, and GA was ethical her dogs set the standard for their breed, it's utterly all consuming. If her main employee wants to keep it on as a going concern that's fine, but from talking to her I get the feeling she loves working with the dogs but isn't a business person, and as I said neither myself or my mother wants to attempt to run the business.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 18-Nov-15 12:41:37

you should probably take advice if you are the new owners - there may be notice periods/redundancy pay etc - though maybe not for such a small business.

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