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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34462
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My father has just passed away at the beginning of December

Customer Question

My father has just passed away at the beginning of December without leaving a will. I am his eldest child but have not seen him for several years. He had a child with another partner and that child is only 4 years old so, as his next of kin, my father's ex-partner was given all the rights to organise his funeral and also to dispose of his belongings. I would really like to have his ashes so that they can be put in a family grave. Do I have any rights and would it cost me financially? I am a single, unemployed mother with two children.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has his ex partner actually obtained Letters of Administration - and who has paid for the funeral?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning, thank you for responding to my question. I was not involved in any funeral arrangements and do not know of any Letters of Administration. I understand that his ex-partner has claimed some form of bereavement benefit to pay for the funeral. Police said that she was classed as next of kin because my half-brother was only 4 years old. The question was not asked about any older children. I was unaware of all these arrangements as I was not contacted until 3 days before the funeral.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Have you actually asked about the ashes?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have not asked his ex-partner about the ashes but she told my aunty that she would wait until their son was of an age when he would be able to remember and then she would spread them 'somewhere nice'. She has taken full responsibility for all of my father's possessions as well as organising the funeral.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Dis your father have any other children or just the two of you?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There are 3 children in total, they are myself (27), my younger brother (24) and our half-brother (4). Our half-brother is the child that my father had with his estranged partner.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
All three of you children are your late father's "next of kin" and any of you (or his ex on behalf of her child) could have dealt with the Funeral Arrangements
However since it was he is that did so and arranged for payment of the Funeral then it is up to her what happens to the ashes - unless you wish to go to the expense of obtaining Letters of Administration and then taking court action against her.
There is no Legal Aid for this.
The only other option is to try and discuss the issue with her using Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
Please ask if you need further details
Clare