§ Mr. Lee
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in how many instances the 648W Treasury Solicitor has intervened in probate situations to claim intestate estates for the Crown during the last 12 months; what was the total value of all such estates so claimed; in how many instances such estates would not have so passed if the law of intestacy placed stepchildren on the same footing as children of the blood; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies
The Treasury Solicitor claims on behalf of the Crown only those intestate estates to which no one else appears to be legally entitled. During the period of 12 months up to 30th September 1976 he has administered some 2,905 estates having a total value of approximately £2,267,000. No records are kept which would enable the Treasury Solicitor to determine how many of such estates would not have passed to the Crown if the law of intestacy placed stepchildren on the same footing as children of the blood. Since the coming into force of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, it has been the Treasury Solicitor's practice not to claim estates where it appears to him that stepchildren would have a valid claim under that Act.