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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother and father divorced over 30 years ago. Both met

Customer Question

My mother and father divorced over 30 years ago. Both met new partners very quickly. As teenagers we were difficult to both parties. My father's partner gave him an ultimatum of us or her and he decided to go with her. He sold the family home and left myself and my brother homeless. My sister went to live with my mum.
Over the years we have met my father and his partner at family events but it has always been difficult.
At Christmas 2015 we received a call from my father's sister to say that my father was dead. We knew this day would come. The difference to our expectations, however, was that he had actually died in March 2015. His partner maintains that he didn't want anyone knowing that he'd died. His partner made her promise that she wouldn't tell us of his death. But she found this too much of a burden.
I have sent for a copy of his death certificate and looked on the government website for wills and probate but found nothing.
Looking at his death certificate and electoral roll it would appear that they never married as she still maintains her name. The worry for my siblings and I is that she was the one to make the decision that nobody would be told about his death to protect her claim to his estate. We are upset that we were never given a chance to say goodbye. We have many happy childhood memories and our mother maintains that he was kept "under the thumb" by his partner.
If they never married I presume I am still next of kin and this has implications for his estate and what happens to this?
If he wanted, as she states, for us to never know he'd died I will drop any investigations. But if this is her saying this to protect her own interests could we ake this further?
Sorry to ramble. This has been a big decision on the part of myself and siblings over the year to even make enquiries.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.

What assets did he have the best of knowledge

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure - house, car, pension
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Was the house owned in joint names?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think it probably was but I do not have this information.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

If it was then it passed to his partner automatically with no need of a Will - as did all accounts held in joint names.

It is also likely that she was nominated to receive his pension

You can check the house position using the Land Registry portal here

If you wish to take it further then you will have to write a polite letter and ask about his estate.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details