HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 c354W
Mr. Cryer

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give the rules followed by his Office in disposing of estates and in accounting to a family where a person dies intestate.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

An estate falls for administration by the Duchy only in cases where there is no family in the strict legal sense.

In making ex gratia awards from such estates the Duchy tries to weigh what might have been the wishes of the deceased had he or she made a will shortly before death. This is seldom an easy task which would not be simplified by a rigid code.