- Lady Y is the cousin of Lady X's mother
- Lady Z is the daughter of Lady X's Cousin
Are both Lady Y and Z second cousins to Lady X, and for probate who is the closest heir?
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To determine the closest relative, draw a diagram.
Great grandparent ┌────────┴────────┐ Great aunt/uncle Grandparent │ ┌─────┴─────┐ Lady Y Mother Aunt/Uncle │ │ Lady X Cousin │ Lady Z
From this diagram, you can see that both Lady Y and Lady Z are first cousins once removed to Lady X.
For probate purposes, Lady Z would be considered the closer relative, because Lady X and Lady Z share a more recent common ancestor (grandparent) compared to Lady X and Lady Y (great grandparent). For example, under intestacy laws in England, the descendants of aunts and uncles (such as Lady Z) would be entitled to inherit before descendants of great aunts and uncles (Lady Y). In fact, descendants of great aunts and great uncles have no right to inherit; in the absense of any descendants of aunts and uncles (or closer next of kin), the estate passes to the Crown. Thus, if this scenario refers to an estate in England, it would be impossible for Lady Y to inherit.