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Myth Buster: Here are a few of the most common Probate misunderstandings 

The eldest relative

That the eldest relative takes precedence when it comes to the distribution of an estate. This is never the case!

Relatives ‘in-law’

They are not entitled to a share in the estate. It’s particularly essential to verify whether nieces and nephews are blood relatives or are just related through marriage.

Named next of kin

People naming their friends or neighbours as their next of kin on official documents doesn’t mean that they are considered the legal next of kin under intestacy law.

Ex-spouses and stepchildren

Divorced (including Financial Order) ex-spouses are not entitled to inherit. Neither are stepchildren of the deceased.

Second cousin or first cousin once removed

These two terms cause the most confusion. A second cousin never inherits (child of a parent’s first cousin). A first cousin once removed can. 


If a child has been adopted out of the family, they are not legally considered a blood relative of their biological parents. If a child has been adopted into a family, they are legally considered as a child of their adopted parents.


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