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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Deceased persons: intestacy: England and Wales - distribution of estate

In England and Wales, the distribution of the estate of a person dying intestate is governed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925 as amended from time to time.

The age of majority for a beneficiary under intestacy is 18, provided the intestate died on, or after, 1 January 1970. If exceptionally, the intestate died before 1 January 1970, the age of majority is 21. The rules are contained in the Family Law Reform Act 1969, s1.