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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34893
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My children who live in Scotland have just found that their

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My children who live in Scotland have just found that their father died a year ago. He lived in England and he didn't keep in contact with them. I divorced him in 1974 for mental and physical cruelty towards me and the children. I brought them up and struggled financially to provide for them. I never remarried. He sent £10 weekly maintenance, it was a constant struggle to get it and I asked him frequently over the years for more financial help but he always refused.He had several businesses in England and was quite well off. We have tried to find out if he left a will, but with no success. He had remarried but had no children to his 2nd wife. My children tried to keep in touch over the years, but he obviously had no interest in them. Could you tell me if my children would have any claim on his estate. He did not provide adequately for them over the years when they were young.
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Do you mean that you have made a formal search of the Probate Registry?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Claire, yes my daughter paid fee to find out if there had been a will lodged. She got letter saying there was no trace of a will. He lived in Preston.Don't know if there is any other court we should try.

If your daughter did a Probate Search then it covers all areas - details here
Ifthere was no Will then his widow would have been entitled to the first £250,000 of his assets (plus all his personal possessions) plus a life interest in half of the remainder. The other half would have to be divided between his children.
However any assets that were in their joint names would have gone to her automatically.
Given this potential claim your children could reasonably write to his widow and ask for an accounting of his estate
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Claire, thank you. You said to ask for an account of his estate, but if she refuses, which I think probably she will, what other means of redress could they take. Would it be worth their while engaging a solicitor in England and what do you think of their chances of success would be.

In that case it would be best to get a solicitor to write and make it clear that your children will make a formal claim against the Widow for their share of the estate - it is of course impossible to judge whether it will be worthwhile since there are no financial details currently available!