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 Harris Your Own Question
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Type Your Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

My husband died on Friday. We are separated but he has not

Customer Question

My husband died on Friday. We are separated but he has not left a will. I don't have a key to his property but his family have already started removing items of value that could be used to pay towards funeral. I don't know my legal position and if I should change locks until I can appoint a solicitor to deal with probate.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We were in regular contact and on friendly terms. Divorce proceedings hadn't commenced. He has a grown up daughter and granddaughter. He has a new partner of 18 months who had been staying at the property periodically. My name is ***** ***** the mortgage. The girlfriend and his brother have already starting making list of expensive items they want and plan to start removing in Tuesday. They haven't even issued a death certificate yet.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is a van on finance but the finance is in someone else's name. The same with his phone contract. He also owes a friend several thousand pounds.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I personally am not looking to benefit I just want to ensure his estate is dealt with in the correct and legal manor and then his daughter and granddaughter are looked after but am worried about people removing things from the house etc.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I get on well with the daughter but suspect things will turn nasty with the family should I exercise my legal rights to do anything to protect Stewart's estate and his daughter so I need to be 100% certain of the law before I do anything or take any steps.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thanks for your question. As he had no will and you are noy.divorced the legal position ia that you inherit all his estate up to £260,000 and anything above this amount is divided 50% for you and 50% for his daughter. His personal possessions are also left for your benefit. As you are still married, if the home he passed away im is the former matrimonial home you have a right to occupy thisand therefore change the locks. In the circumstances I would suggest you urgently contact a local solicitor to assist given that his family have already taken steps to acquire and potentially dispose of his assets.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Just to add to the above.

Whether or not it was the Matrimonial Home as the only person entitled to apply for Letters of Administration of the Estate you can enter the property and change the locks immediately. - as in today if necessary

The fact that his partner has not lived there full time limits any claim that she can make on anything other than items that were paid for from joint funds

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a key to the house. Things with the family are awkward to say the least (apart from the daughter) and whilst I don't want to cause upset to anyway there will be debts that need sorting and Stewart would want me to make sure things are done the right way. It's such a horrible situation.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

You should ask them for the key as it is your legal right to enter. If they don't provide one you can seek assistance from a locksmith to enter

Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.