Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Please accept my sympathies for your loss.
Does your partner have any significant assets to deal with? Did you own anything jointly - e.g. bank accounts or your house?
She has a London flat worth about £550000 and a few savings of about £25000. We do not have any joint assets.
My apologies for the delay in reverting to you. Thank you for the above. Did your partner make any assurances to you prior to their passing in terms of your continuing rights in relation to their property?
Were you financially dependent in any way upon your partner prior to their passing?
Do you believe the family will be keen to ensure you are provided for from the estate are you unsure?
No not at all. We lived between my house and her flat sharing daily living expenses.
Thank you. based upon what you say providing you can demonstrate that you were living together essentially is spouses in all but name then you have a potential claim for reasonable financial provision against your partners estate by virtue of s1A of the Inhertiance Act.
Unsure at this stage. I have known them almost as long as Judy and we have always been on very friendly terms.
If you wanted to bring such a claim it is essential you did so within 6 months of any grant of probate. You may alternatively be able to reach an amicable negotiated settlement with your partners family.
Under the intestacy rules notwithstanding the potential for your above claim as your partner has children then on the basis she has no spouse (i.e. a previous marriage that she has not divorced) then her estate is simply divided between her natural or adopted children equally.
Accordingly it is with them that any settlement would need to be negotiated.
In terms of probate the first right to act as administrator rests with her children who all have an equal right to apply. If they fo not wish to act then it falls to Judy's next class of nearest next of kin which may be parents or siblings. If none of them wish to act you could apply to act as administrator.
Judy had never been married and had no children.
In terms of any funeral arrangements anyone can progress this. The only thing to ensure is that you do not become personally liable for any funeral costs unless you want to be. The funeral directors should make their invoice out to the Administrator of the Estate of your partner. Your partners bank can be instructed to settle the invoice from one of Judy's accounts.
Thank you - on that basis her estate would be due to be divded between any surving whole brothers or sisters and in the event that a sibling has passed away already then their share would be payable to any children they leave behind.
You mention a sister in this country and a brother who has passed away in Australia. If they are her only two siblings then (notwithstanding your potential claim the estate would be divided as to 1/2 to her surving sister and the other half split between her brothers 3 sons in equal shares.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Who should start probate and how?
The administrator is the person tha starts the application for probate. Based on the order of priority Judy's sister would have the first right to apply as administrator.
If her sister does not want to act as an Administrator you could offer to take that roll yourself potentially though her brothers children have a prior right though in practice there may be practical difficulties in their actually carrying out this roll.
Is there anything else I can assist you with?
No, thank you for your help.