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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 16616
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My brother died on 24th december..we were not in contact. I

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My brother died on 24th december..we were not in contact. I received a text from another neice two weeks ago to inform me of his brother was not married but had a daughter who we had never met. Am I entitled to know how my brother died and if there was a will.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Glasgow
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: We have no documents and have been told nothing
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The daughter appears to not have my brother's surname

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.

The cause of death is on the death certificate and is therefore a matter of public record so you are entitled to know what t4h cause of death is. As regards ***** ***** you are entitled to know whether there is a Will that left any legacy to you. Beyond that you are not entitled to any further information.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you. As the daughter gave us her phone number at the funeral we have sent her a text asking her if she would be willing to talk/meet with us. She said possibly .we contacted her again by text last Friday and tried to phone her at the weekend with no success. If she does not get back to us is there another way of finding out queries ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Also as we were never actually told by my brother about the daughter do we have the right to ask for proof of paternity?

You can ask, yes, but it is not a right. If you think there is doubt you would need to go to the court.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
When you say we would have to go to can it be established that my brother was the father. If he did not put his name on the birth certificate but introduced her to people as his daughter is that enough to establish paternity. We wish to make sure that if she is his legitimate daughter she gets everything from the estate as is her right..also is a will a matter of public record that you can legitimately access.

If there is no mention of your brother on the birth certificate then a DNA test would usually be the way to establish paternity. As your brother is death a relative would give a sample to establish sufficient DNA connection to establish paternity or otherwise. As regards ***** ***** it would only become available “publicly” if Confirmation was granted at the court in which case a copy could be applied for. conformation would be sought by the executor if there was heritable property included in the estate and/or a reasonable amount of money or other moveable property.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
There are two houses and possibly an overseas property involved before any bank accounts. Would this mean confirmation would be required as the norm ?

Yes it would.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you. My next question would be as confirmation would be required how would you find out details of the confirmation?

The executor applies to the local sheriff court and again you could apply to the court for a copy of that in due course. It can take a number of months for this to be completed and lodged by the executor depending on the complexity of the person's estate.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
You have been extremely helpful and concise. I think my last question would be what is the current threshhold for inheritance tax. I believe it may be £350000.00 and has to be paid within six months of death or else penalties are applied. Is this correct ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Sorry it just came into my mind..what if there is no will ?

For an unmarried person the threshold is £325,000. If a house is left to a child another allowance of up to £175,000 is available being what is called the Residential Nil Rate Band. IHT is paid within 6 months. In some cases instalments can be applied for. If there is no will a child inherits. If there is no child the estate is divided 50:50 between parents on the one hand and siblings on the other.

JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you very much. I will leave you in peace now