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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 30007
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My brother recently passed away and I find myself having to

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My brother recently passed away and I find myself having to administer his affairs - he left no will but has no assets either, what happens about his financial affairs
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: He lived in Bagshot, Surrey, UK
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I have his death certificate
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: He possibly had an IVA, I can't be sure as I've found no paperwork. I need to know if I can be held responsible for any debts he had. Are your lawyers expensive?

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. I will certainly try to clarify the position for you.

  1. May I confirm if your brother was married at the time he passed away or had any children please?
  2. are either of your parents still alive?
  3. do you have any other siblings apart from your brother?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
He was divorced; there are 2 adult children from whom he was estranged, their current addresses are not known to me. Our parents are both deceased and I have one sister
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Sorry I can't afford a lot of legal fees, can we do this online?

thank you. If your brother did not leave a will, then the intestacy rules would apply which in the above circumstances would mean that his two children, providing they are either his natural or adopted children ( stepchildren are excluded from the intestacy rules) would inherit his estate in equal shares and would also have the right to administer his estate. You would have a right to administer the estate if both children declined to take administration but you would need to obtain evidence in this respect before you could apply and I'm not sure there would be any advantage in you applying for probate as this will effectively be only to the two children's benefit as they are entitled to inherit any assets.

If the estate is insolvent then the children still have a right to take administration as above but in the circumstances, it is generally better to leave administration to the official receiver because if an administrator makes any mistake in administering an insolvent estate, they can become personally liable to any creditors which lose out as a result of their mistake.

You would not be liable for any debts of your brother unless you provided a guarantee in respect of those debts during your brother's lifetime.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you for your help - I'm afraid I have no idea where his children are, we have been estranged from them for a number of years. At present I am down as my brother's next of kin and am having to deal with matters as such. His "estate" is only likely to be a few hundred pounds as he only had his state pension for income.

Thank you. there iss no legal obligation for you to deal with his affairs and whilst you may wish to help with his possessions, it may be wise not to intermodal with his financial affairs as this may be better left to the official receiver. If you decide to do so, you can contact the insolvency service in this respect on 0300(###) ###-####/p>

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you - your help is much appreciated.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.

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