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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25426
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My daughters ex fiance (they split up on 4 dec 2013) has just

Resolved Question:

My daughters ex fiance (they split up on 4 dec 2013) has just committed suicide. Is their three year old son the next of kin and can he inherit if there is no will. The ex fiances mother seems to think she is the next of kin and not the three year old child
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

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.

Joshua :

May I ask if your daughters ex partner had any other children besides your daughters son please?

Joshua :

Am I correct to assume that your daughters son is her ex partners natural or failing which adopted son? Is he named on his birth certificate?

Joshua :

Did her ex partner marry anyone following their split?

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- : My grandson is the true and only son of the deceased. They only separated four months ago there are no other children and he also did not marry since the split . They were together 12 years and engaged for the last four years. The house is in the name if the deceased only although my daughter lived there for ten years and contributed towards all household expenses.. Their son is three years old and the deceased name is XXXXX XXXXX birth certificate . There is no question about the paternity as they all lived as a family until last dec.
Joshua :

Thank you.

Joshua :

If there is no will then your daughters son is the sole beneficiary of his fathers estate when he reaches the age of 18. Money can be used from the estate before he reaches the age of 18 for the purposes of education and so on.

Joshua :

Your daughter as his mother has a right to administer the estate as his sons mother though a joint administrator will likely need to be appointed to act jointly with her as joint trustees of the money for her son.

Joshua :

Your daughter may wish to refer the ex partners mother to the Administration of Estates Act which provides as above and to rule 22 of the Non contentious probate rules which gives your daughter a right to administer the estate as above

Joshua :

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1987/2024/article/22/made

Joshua :

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/15-16/23/section/46

Joshua :

s46 Administration of Estates Act is difficult for non lawyers to read but simply it says that if you are not married then you children inherit your estate, where more than one, in equal shares. Here therefore his son would inherit everything.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

that is very clear. thank you. Can you just tell me now please if we take this to a solicitor obviously we are going to have to pay alot of costs to sort this out. Can the costs be taken out of the estate before the solicitor settles the estate for us. Also can the deceased mother claim the funeral expenses from his sons trust.

Joshua :

In fact it should not be very expensive if he made no will as the intestacy rules are absolute in respect of their entitlement.

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

can his mother claim his funeral expenses that she is going to pay out ot the esstate. also do his other possessions i.e. car go to his son too... will any of his debts come out of the estate before it is settled

Joshua :

However costs can be sought from the estate in terms of administration. The sooner your daughter seeks representation the less

Joshua :

Funeral costs are a legitimate expense which can be claimed from the estate but costs should be proportionate to the size of the estate.

Joshua :

i.e. a £10K funeral for an estate worth say £200K would be wholly disproportionate but may not be if the estate were worth £2m for example.

Joshua :

Also any debts he owed would need to be paid before your grandson receives his entitlement but of course your daughter will have control of this as administrator if she takes the role which would be sensible

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

the house is only worth about 75,000 maybe and his funeral may cost about 2,000. I dont know for sure. We were told that his debts died with him . so if he has credit card debts etc they will come out of the estate first?? when you say my daughter has control of this what does that mean....?? can she decide to pay them or not or does she have no choice??

Joshua :

Unfortunately debts do not dies with someone. Creditors can claim against any assets the deceased leaves behind them. What creditors can't do is make a claim against relatives or other third parties for debts. In other words a creditor cannot claim against what a deceased doesn't own at the time of his death so in this more limited respect a debt could be said to "die with a person"

Joshua :

There is an order of priority for debts. Administration expenses come first (with a caveat). Secured creditors come second (e.g. a mortgage lender) for any property over which they have security. Then unsecured creditors come third then beneficiaries get their share.

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

do yu know if suicide voids a life assurance attached to a mortgage. |We dont know yet if there is one in the mortgage

Joshua :

Your daughter as above can apply to be administrator of the estate (albeit will likely require someone to act along side her). She can then control the payments out to creditors. If they are legitimate debts they must be paid but she will be able to question any debts if she feels they have been inflated or are otherwise wrong.

Joshua :

Typically suicide would be a basis for a life insurer to avoid payment unfortunately but do check the policy if one exists.

Joshua :

Is there anything else i can help you with?

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

ca\n i be the person who acts along side her... What happens if we get la solicitor to start loomking into this and find there wont be enough funds in the esstate to pay everything....

Joshua :

Any "fit and proper" person can be nominated to act jointly with your daughter so you could perform the role. If there are insufficient assets to pay creditors then you would not want to take administration as there would be no value in doing so. Rather you could refer the matter to the Official Receiver who can undertake administration of an insolvent estate.

Joshua :

It is possible for your daughter to seek information herself on the basis she is her ex's personal representative by virtue of s1 Administration of Estates Act without a solicitor. She can write to potential creditors and asset holders explaining that as mother of the deceaseds child who is wholly entitled to the estate she is entitled to act as PR and she requires information specified. It is true that this information can often be easier to obtain through a solicitor than herself and she may meet with initial resistance however she has a legal right to any information required and providing she is prepared to be persistent she will be able to obtain it.

Joshua :

If she does instruct a solicitor and there turns out to be no money in the estate then the solicitors costs would fall to her however these costs would not amount to much at an early stage that any insolvency of the estate would be discovered.

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

are we within our rights in this case to go to the house (which hs not been entered since the suicde as far as we know) to change the locks to prevent other family members entering and removiung things from the house. Also we need the paper work to approach moretgage companies etc.

Joshua :

Your daughter has by virtue of s1 of the Administration of Estates Act all the legal rights of control of her exs property that her ex enjoyed when he was alive in respect of legal ownership. Accordingly she does have this right however to avoid dispute it can be useful to have this confirmed in writing by a solicitor because the family could attempt to involve the police or other unpleasant disputes potentially and police and other individuals concerned are not qualified to interpret the law in this area and will be unlikely to understand the position without something formal that confirms the position. However based on what you say she would appear to have the right to do so

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

thank you for your help. If we decided to go and change the locks and take the chance can you assure me that we are not illegal acting.

Joshua :

Providing you are satisfied that your daughter is the mother of the deceased's only natural or adopted child (which based on what you have said above is the case) then your daughter has a lawful right to administer his affairs and can take the above step

Joshua :

I am glad the above was helpful. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

JACUSTOMER-ueefps7x- :

thank you joshua... i am relaying all the info to my daughter and asking you questions as she asks me.

Joshua :

A pleasure. I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today.

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