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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9600
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have two children of a previous marriage, their father

Customer Question

I have two children of a previous marriage, their father died Oct 2015, his partner at the time was his first wife ( but at the time of death not married) from there marriage prior to mine with him they had two children. The eldest son has been made executer of the estate and along with his mother is making all the decisions and my children have not seen any documents or been involved in any of the decisions. Not a large estate house which is currently on the market car which has already been sold and death in service money which she states has been left to her ( they have not seen any paper work )
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Please let me clarify the facts. I’m not certain I have this right.

This gentleman was married. He had two children with his wife.

He then got divorced and got married to you and had two children with you.

You then got divorced and he moved back in with his first wife which was when he died.

His children and his first wife obtain control.

Is that it?

Has he written a will?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No there is no will
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you are right with what you have said
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

The situation here is that he has no will and therefore has died intestate with four children. It doesn’t matter that they are from two different marriages.

The children inherit equal shares of their father’s estate.

The ex-wife should be no more involved with this than the next-door neighbour or man across the street.

The death in service benefit can be subject to a separate trust document which is a simple signature on a piece of paper indicating where the death in service and partners pension should be paid. The children would be entitled to see a copy of that. If she is saying that’s the case and it’s not, then she commits fraud.

Anyone who wants to contest the estate or find out what’s happening with it can place a caveat at the Probate Registry which would prevent whoever the self appointed executors are, getting probate until the issues around the assets have been resolved. They would not be able to sell the property until such time as probate has been granted and the idea of the caveat holding up probate is to get people to talk and to prevent the house being sold while there is a potential dispute.

2 children, if over 18, might want to get a solicitor to write to their stepsiblings asking for details of all the accounts and asset values confirming that they undertake to divide the whole thing always.

Failing that, place the caveat which may focus their mind. Anyone has experience of doing this, they might want to get solicitors to deal with the whole thing.

Here is a little bit on caveats

https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/stopping-a-grant-of-representation

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.

FES