How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Aston Lawyer Your Own Question

Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10176
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
16368554
Type Your Law Question Here...
Aston Lawyer is online now

My partner passed away on Friday, he left me a letter

Customer Question

Hi,
My partner passed away on Friday, he left me a letter stating he wants me to have any money in his bank account and his pensions. We were not married but together for over 10 years and lived together for over 5 years. I am extremely concerned that I will be breaking the law if I draw money from his bank account. Apparently, there is £20,000. All rent and bill payments are set up by direct debit from his account. Obviously I need to pay for a funeral as well. Please advise me on what I need to do to access his account legally?
Many thanks,
Susan
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi Susan, thanks for your enquiry and am sorry to hear of your loss. Could you confirm if you were in a civil partnership or not? Did your partner leave a Will? Is the property jointly owned?

Kind Regards Al

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. We were engaged, he did not leave a will, just a signed letter confirming his requests, apparently the pension provider is aware of his wishes, it's just his bank account that is worrying me. We live in a rented property
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi Susan,

Thanks for your reply.

I am afraid that the letter your Partner signed is not legally binding. As no Will was signed, your Partner's Estate has to follow the Rules of Intestacy.

The Rules of Intestacy can be harsh as they often don’t allow for modern family relationships - ie unmarried couples who are not in a civil partnership.

The Rules of Intestacy make no provision for unmarried and unregistered partners. This means that on Intestacy, the surviving partner will not automatically inherit any of the property and possessions owned in the sole name of the deceased. However, a partner can often make a valid inheritance claim instead, or the family can legally vary the distribution on intestacy to provide for the partner.

As it stands, therefore, I'm afraid you are not classed as your partner's next of kin, and this would be fall on any children/siblings/parents of your Partner. Only this person(s) has the legal right to deal with your Partner's Bank account. I am afraid the Bank will not therefore transfer the account into your name and you are not legally entitled to deal with the account. As there is over £5,000 in the account, your Partner's legal next of kin will need to apply for what is called "Letters of Administration" before the account can be touched or closed.

However, long term, not all is lost. As you had been living together for over 2 years, the Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975 applies. A cohabitee who is not a dependent but who lived with the deceased as man and wife for a period of two years immediately prior to the death, can make a claim for financial provision.

The court can make orders very similar to on divorce: maintenance or lump sum payment. You do therefore need to take urgent legal advice concerning your rights, and you should go and speak to a local Wills Solicitor as soon as you can.

As regards ***** ***** provided your Partner completed a Nomination form, asking for any payments to be made to you, this will take place, and these pension payments will be made to you.

I am sorry this is not the answer you were looking for, but it sets out the legal position.

If I have answered your question, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Good luck.

Kind Regards

Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

Can I assist you any further?

Kind Regards

Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 4 months ago.

Hi, if I have answered your question, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer. Kind Regards Al

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice