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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10887
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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What rights does the next of kin have if the person dies? Can

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what rights does the next of kin have if the person dies? Can the next of kin be changed or can someone be added after the person has died? If the next of kin is the youngest child, can they be solely responsibility for giving the final say for funeral arrangements without anyone changing them. ie other siblings.

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My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Did the deceased leave a Will?

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No the deceased (who is my father) did not have a will. the situation is that I am the youngest child 32 who is next of kin on hospital papers. He went into hospital for a common operation and died suddenly after with complication which is suspicious in itself. My dad has lived in London for 40 years and has been very close with myself and sister who is 37. My dad also has a previous family in Scotland, 3 children, who are older, 40.44, 46. The situation is that they want to bury my dad in Scotland and we know that this would not be his wishes. I would like to know who has rights over his burial, how do I go and get responsibility and I have heard something about becoming administrator of his estate. How can I beome that as soon as possible? Thank you. I am sooo worried what to do.


Thanks for your reply.

Although I appreciate you had been nominated as next of kin for hospital purposes, this does not give you any extra legal rights over any of your siblings and half siblings.

Whenever someone dies, the person who is legally entitled to deal with his Estate and make the necessary arrangemets over the funeral is either the Executor if a Will had been made or if there was no Will, whoever is appointed as Administrator of his Estate.

Any one of your Father's children can apply to become Administrator. An application needs to be made to any of the District Probate Registry's in England. No preference is given to you just because you were deemed to be next of kin during your Father's lifetime. The appointment of Administrator is done on a "first come, first served" basis so whoever applies first will be appointed.

An application can be made by you either instructing a local Solicitor to deal with the paperwork or you can apply personally to your local Probate Registry. This entails going for an interview and you completing a form confirming what assets and liabilities your Father had.

The Probate Registry will then grant you what is called "Letters of Administration". This is a document confirming that you are the Administrator and is evidence that you are entitled to deal with his Estate and deal with his funeral.

Until you or any other sibling has obtained Letters of Administration, no one of you has the legal right to dictate the funeral arrangements.

I therefore suggest that you contact your local Probate Registry tomorrow to get the ball rolling. Here is a link to find your nearest Registry.

I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.

Kind Regards


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much for the information. Would you recommend going directing to my local Probate Registry first or requesting a solicitor to do it on my behalf? Time is precious, so would prefer to do the quickest method. Can you submit an online application to be the Administrator of an Estate? Do you know how long it would take for them to appoint the Administrator of an Estate?
Thank you


I would suggest that you contact your local Probate Registry yourself and do it personally, as it will probabbly be quicker than using a Solicitor.

All Probate Registries take different amounts of time- the norm is 2 weeks, I'm afraid.

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the information. However, today I have been in contact and spoken to the bereavement office and they have informed me that although I was my dad's next of kin, all siblings have equal rights. With regards to seeking letters of administration, I am unable to do this as you need the death certificate and as we all have equal rights, the medical certificate will be given once an amicable compromise has been met amongst us. If this fails, which I think will as my dad's other children are quite adamant that they want my dad buried in Scotland. What legal proceedings could I take to identify who has responsibility for my dads burial? How would I go out doing this? Can I dispute anything? Thanks, Danielle.