If there is one surviving parent and no descendants of the deceased parent, the surviving parent inherits the whole of the estate.

NO SPOUSE, DESCENDANT OR PARENT BUT A BROTHER OR SISTER (or his or her descendants) alive In this case, half of the estate goes to the descendants of the deceased’s mother (per stirpes) and the other half to the descendants (per stirpes) of the father. Per stirpes is where a deceased’s child’s heirs can inherit in his or her place.

This can continue through any number of future generations. Full brothers or sisters (or their descendants) therefore inherit through both parents while half-brothers or half-sisters (or their descendants) inherit through the parent common to them and the deceased (known in law as full hand and half hand).

If descendants of only one parent are alive, they will inherit the whole estate.

NO SPOUSE, DESCENDANT OR PARENT, BROTHER OR SISTER (OR HIS OR HER DESCENDANTS) ALIVE If none of the above are alive, the intestate estate will be divided equally among the nearest blood relations of the deceased.

IF THERE ARE NO SURVIVING RELATIVES If there is no surviving spouse and no blood relations, the estate is paid into the Guardians Fund of the Master of the Supreme Court and, if not claimed within 30 years, will be forfeited to the state.

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