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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10227
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Can I speak to someone?

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Can I speak to someone ?

Can you explain your situation in more detail please so the we can point you in the direction of the right expert?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My father died. No will left.
He had a common law wife and two children.
Me and my sister were born in wedlock from previous relationship.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My number is *****
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Or 01628 483627

I see that you have asked for a telephone call. I would be happy to speak to you and in this respect, I have submitted a Premium Service proposal for can accept that as you wish or carry on here.

To assist me before we speak,would be helpful if you could let me know what problem is.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've just paid £47!!

You can have as many exchanges as you like on here for the one fee. However a telephone call costs extra. You can just ignore that if you wish and carry on here in which case we need the full background the problem is please.

You only pay the one fee for the email exchange regardless of how long it is.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I don't wish to pay more.
My question is
My father died.
Me and my sister were born in wedlock ftom his previous relationship ..
He has a common law wife and 2 more children. He left no Will.
The house was joint tennants.
Can we contest if there is no Will ?

Thank you. If the house was in joint names between him and his partner, she gets the whole house under the right of is unlikely you could contest that unless you can prove that he wasn’t of sound mind he transferred the property into joint names if he owned it on his own previously or if you could prove that he was pressured into transferring it into joint names. It’s an extremely difficult claim.

With regard to any other assets which are not held jointly but are owned in your father’s sole name, thereis no need to contest anything.

The rules of intestacy are quite clear.

If there is no legal spouse, then children inherit everything in equal shares. That would include you and your sister and the illegitimate children who are treated exactly the same.

There is a potential problem in the short term, if his partner (the law does not recognise common law spouse) has dependent children under aged 18, because she may be able to claim the right to live in the house until the younger child reaches 18 if she can prove that the house was bought as a home for her and the children.

She may have a claim against the house or at least part of it if she can prove that she contributed to the fabric or mortgage or did any improvements to it.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

I can still clarify things for you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok that's helpful.
His children from partnership to common law wife are older and have left home.
Maybe some credit card debts ? What happens to them please ?
Small pension ?
How do we know a will was never done ?
It would seem unfair that she has the whole house and could make a will herself in the coming months. This wouldn't include us but would include her own children.

The children are not an issue then and hence, it’s unlikely she could resist an application to court for an order for sale.

Debts only die with a person if there are no assets. Here, there are assets in the form of the house andhence, some of the house proceeds would have to go to pay the debts.

What happens to the pension would depend on the terms of the pension scheme. He may have appointed his partner as beneficiary or left it open. Sometimes the benefit dies with the deceased, sometimes it goes to children or sometimes to a legal spouse. It would be necessary to contact the pension scheme to find out whether your late father opted for anything and if so, what that was. The pension scheme administrators are going to need a copy of the death certificate.

There is no central register of Wills although there have been many attempts to get one together. It is a case of ringing round all the solicitors or writing to them asking them whether they hold a will. The exercise is not very often successful.

You can enter a Caveat at the Probate registry would give you notice if anyone applies for probate on a will.

There is no need for probate if the property is in joint names as joint tenants.

The comment you make about it being unfair for her to inherit the whole house (under the right of survivorship) and then leave it just to her children is just the way the law works.

Your late father could have got round this (too late now) by writing a will and making sure that all the beneficiaries were aware of its content and where it is or at least, making sure that the executors were aware of the Wills existence and its whereabouts.

You might want to start with getting the deeds of the property by following this link!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

they only cost 3 pounds. You will then know what names the property are in and I can tell you, if you post the deed on here, whether it’s joint tenants or tenants in common and whether she is entitled to the property or whether probate must be applied for.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's very helpful.
Thank you.
We looked at land registry And it says
Joint tennants.
We were also told that his debts wouldn't come out of the house ? His debts were in his name not joint names
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can u answer the last question please

If the property is in joint names as joint tenants and not tenants in common, then that’s correct, the debt to do not come out of the house because the house passes to the survivor under the right of survivorship before everything else.

If there are savings or other assets, then the debts would be paid from those otherwise the debts die with him.

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