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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hi Ive been named as executor & beneficiary in my ex partners

Customer Question

Hi Ive been named as executor & beneficiary in my ex partners (she committed suicide ) will but family are ignoring me and coroner will not give me a interim death certificate, saying on the phone that he will only send it to the brother, the family & I do not get along, can you give me advice please, Regards Finley
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

What is the rough value of the estate?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

£100,000 house which is in my name and hers so I don't think they can do anything about that, comes to me anyway. £30,000 in premium bonds in my Sons name who is 4, he lives with me now & £30,000 in premium bonds in her name & about 5-10k in bank accounts in her name, car worth about £1.5k

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Also how can I get an interim death certificate to stop them going to the banks, as that's what they said they are going to do?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Does the coroner know that you are the executor?

When was the will written?

Do you inherit everything?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I told the coroner, he said he doesnt get involved, will was written in 2006, yes I inherit everything but at the time it was written we didnt have much & we didnt have a child, it says she leaves the car she owns a time of death to me & all of her estate but doesnt specify what is in the estate and at the time she wrote it we only had a couple of thousand which we had saved.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. The fact that the
will was written some years ago is excellent. There is less chance of
contesting it, (particularly in view of the fact that your ex partner committed
suicide) on the basis that she did not have mental capacity to do it or to know
what she was doing. You are the executor of the estate. Another name for the
executor of the estate is the personal representative. You will very often use
the term used and that is what it means.

You are entitled to the
interim death certificate. Unfortunately, you cannot beat the coroner with a
stick you can threaten an application to court for an order for "delivery up". To
be honest, the order should be a formality if you make the application to
court, you will get the order if you produced the will and there is no dispute
over the validity of the will. The coroner is unlikely to contest it so it
would be worthwhile speaking to the coroner and asking whether he would let you
have a copy of the interim death certificate if you got an order from the
court. Please note that this is not threatening type application this is purely
so that his back is covered in the event that the rest of the family start to
kick up a fuss.

I would speak to the coroner
as soon as you can to establish that he would be happy to let you have it on
production of a court order.

You can make an emergency
application to court for an order for delivery up and solicitor makes it and
attaches a certificate of urgency, it could be in court within hours or days,
not weeks.

As an alternative, you can
make the application against whoever actually has the death certificate.

Meanwhile, you are quite
correct in that any joint assets passed to you automatically by right of

Any other assets can probably
be dealt with without probate as these are cash/bank accounts. If the rest of
the family members were to say that they were entitled to this money, than on
the fact you give, they would be committing fraud as they are clearly not
entitled to them. However you are better off trying to head that off at the
pass and to war void them getting hold of the money in the first place and in
that respect, I would go into the bank and tell them that there is an issue
over the death certificate and ask them to freeze the bank accounts because
your partner has died, you do not yet have the death certificate and you
suspect that other family members will be trying to get hold of the money
before you do. Let them see the original will.

If they refuse to freeze the
bank accounts, tell them that you will hold them responsible if any of the
money goes out.


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question? I am happy to answer specific points.

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