HC Deb 20 July 1987 vol 120 c73W
Mr. Gerald Howarth

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give for each of the past five years the value of estates of those dying intestate and the number of such estates.

Mr. Norman Lamont

I regret that the information requested is not available centrally. Information recorded in connection with inheritance tax does not distinguish the estates of those dying intestate. However, the numbers of grants of letters of adminstration issued in each of the last five years in England and Wales to the estates of intestates are shown below. The drop in the numbers in recent years probably reflects the increase in 1984 from £1,500 to £5,000 of the limit below which assets may be dealt with without the production of a grant.

1982 90,320
1983 90,173
1984 83,492
1985 72,922
1986 64,458

No figures are available to indicate the size of these estates, nor the number of intestate estates for which there are no applications for letters of administration.