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In the UK, there is no specific legal definition to define the meaning of ‘next-of-kin
As there are no clear legal rules, however, a next of kin doesn’t necessarily have to be a blood relative. While this is most often the case, it could also be a partner or a close friend, particularly if you are in hospital and need to name a next of kin and provide their details to medical staff.
Therefore your cousin is not lying, because they can indeed be next of kin.
You have already stated that the coroner has said they will decide this, so sorry to say, you now need to wait for their decision, unless you can produce a document from your mother showing you as her choice of next of kin.
I fully understand how you feel.
But if there is nothing written down, then neither is there any proof that you mother wanted you as next of kin, or did not want him to be.
Very sorry but the lack of anything in writing works both ways
If there is a will this could help, usually a relative named as executor may act as next of kin.
Then sadly it is in the hands of the coroner
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