In the United Kingdom, the concept of a “closest living relative” is used in several legal contexts, such as in the determination of next of kin for inheritance purposes, or in cases where a person is unable to make decisions for themselves. Knowing who counts as your closest living relative is important for planning your estate and for understanding your rights and responsibilities in certain situations.
Definition of Closest Living Relative
The term “closest living relative” refers to the person who is next in line to inherit from a deceased person’s estate if they die without a valid will. In legal terms, this person is known as the “next of kin.” The next of kin is determined according to a specific order of priority set out in UK law.
Order of Priority
The order of priority for next of kin is as follows:
- Spouse or registered civil partner
- Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on
- Brothers and sisters (including half-brothers and sisters)
- Uncles and aunts (including half-uncles and aunts)
It’s worth noting that if there is more than one person in a particular category, such as multiple children or multiple siblings, they will all have equal rights to inherit. In cases of incapacity, the closest living relative would be the person responsible for making decisions on behalf of the individual such as their power of attorney.
There are some exceptions to the above order of priority. For example, if the deceased was divorced or had their civil partnership dissolved, their former spouse or partner would not be considered a next of kin.
In the United Kingdom, the concept of a “closest living relative” is used to determine who is next in line to inherit from a deceased person’s estate if they die without a valid will. The order of priority for next of kin is set out in UK law and is based on the relationship between the deceased and their living relatives. It is important to understand the order of priority and any exceptions that may apply in order to plan your estate and understand your rights and responsibilities in certain situations.