3. Check if you're an entitled relative

You need to know if you’re entitled before making a claim on an estate. The general rules are:

  • if there’s no will, the person’s spouse or civil partner and then any children have first claim to the estate
  • if there’s no spouse or child, anyone descended from a grandparent of the person is entitled to a share in the estate
  • if you’re related by marriage you have no entitlement

Adopted people

If you’re adopted:

  • you have the same rights as if you’d been born into your adoptive family
  • you have no rights to an estate of your original birth family

Only the adoptive family have rights to the estate if the deceased person was adopted.