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Thread: Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

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    bluenose88's Avatar

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    Default Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

    Hi all,

    Hoping someone can give me some advice (currently waiting to see a solicitor but everywhere local is closed due to the holidays!).

    My father has died intestate within the last week after a short and sudden illness, with myself and my half brother being the beneficiaries of the Estate (significant amount, almost £300,000).

    My mother and father split shortly before I was born, so his name is not on the birth certificate, but is on my half brothers as he went on to marry his mother (later divorced, which is why the Estate falls to us).

    There has never been any question or doubt about him being my father, he has always been there and provided for me financially as a child, and in recent years we reconciled. His entire family accept that I am his and we all get on very well (it is actually his mother/my grandmother that is pushing me to try and get this sorted!)

    I am aware that the CSA ordered a DNA test to prove paternity around 20 years ago when I was 5-6, as although he was providing for me, it was 'cash in hand' rather than through them. The DNA test showed him as being my father and he went on to pay through the proper channels.

    The only way I can think to prove my paternity and access to my share of the Estate is through this DNA test (my mother has lost the copy she was provided with). I have therefore submitted a Subject Access Request to the CSA to gain copies of any information they hold relating to the DNA test, correspondence etc. Does anyone know if this request will be successful and they will issue it?

    Does anyone have any other ideas as to how I can prove paternity now he is deceased? As I have said, there is no bad will or fighting over the Estate, it's actually his family that are pushing me to make sure I get my share of it.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

    Hi Bluenose 88,
    Sorry to hear your father passed away.
    In order to try and point you in the right direction can you confirm who will be obtaining the Grant of Administration. The personal representatives (PR) will be responsible for valuing assets, obtaining the Grant if needs be and then gathering in the assets and distributing the estate.
    The PR would have to follow the Intestacy Rules which are laid down in law and have a duty to satisfy themselves as to the identity of any beneficiaries and also ensure they have located all beneficiaries in the relevant class, so if there is no surviving spouse then the children would be the next beneficiaries who would be entitled.
    It does not stipulate how the PR should ensure the identity of the beneficiaries is confirmed hence my question who is dealing with your father's estate. If money is paid to the wrong beneficiaries then the PR's would be accountable to you if you are entitled under the Intestacy Rules.
    Why have you become concerned that without your father's name on your birth certificate this will create problems? If the PR's dealing with estate are family members and have always accepted that you were a biological son I am unsure why an issue would arise.
    I'll wait to hear further from you.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  3. #3
    bluenose88's Avatar

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    Default Re: Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

    Hi Peridot,

    Thanks for all of that. Myself and my half-brother have a meeting with a solicitor next week when they reopen to go through everything, personally I'd prefer for them to handle as much of the administration of the Estate as possible. I'm not sure if it's possible for them to become a Personal Representetive? If it is then we'd rather leave it all to them, it may cost more but then we're sure everything's been dealt with correctly.

    On the DNA test side of things, I've contacted the CSA who have told me that they have everything on file. I was emailed over a form to 'fast track' my application to get all this, and got a phone call from them today to say they have received the form and I should receive my copies within 14 days. I enclosed a £10 postal order for the fee but they're also returning this unused.

    I think the doubt has come from the fact that he died intestate and us having never dealt with a death where there is no will before. We weren't sure if you needed definitive proof such as a birth cert, or if the word and testimony of family members was enough to prove paternity.

    One thing to come out of this, always make sure you have a will!

    I'll keep this updated with any developments after meeting the solicitor next week.

  4. #4
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

    Hi again Bluenose88,
    That is good that no-one is actually questioning your genetics so probably wouldn't be necessary to demonstrate with DNA proof in any event but probably good that you're getting the info for your own records.
    What value is the estate and is there a property involved. Was your father married? If the estate is complicated then it may be an idea to involve solicitors but do pin them down on exactly what fees they will be charging before signing up and also if you feel the need take a few days to think about it, before formally instructing them.
    If the estate is straightforward, eg a property and couple of bank accounts for example, with or without inheritance tax to pay and your are confident there are no other beneficiaries, other than you and your half brother, you may be able to deal with it yourselves and apply for the Grant together? I don't know if this would be an option for you but there is plenty of help out there and it could save you several thousand pounds if you feel able to deal with it yourselves. I appreciate it is sometimes easier to pass everything over and let someone else deal, particularly when you've lost someone close. Just something to bear in mind.
    Here's the government link where there is info on dealing with an intestacy. It may be worth looking at this with your half brother if you wanted to consider dealing yourselves:- https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance
    I hope your appointment goes well.
    Best wishes
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    bluenose88's Avatar

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    Default Re: Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

    My father was divorced around ten years ago, so it's only myself and my brother that are beneficiaries.

    We're going to go through his paperwork at the weekend, but from what he told us it's a fairly large estate, probably around the 300k mark, but could go to 450k and liable for inheritance tax depending on what his pension provider says. He worked on the railways so has a railway pension which would pay out on death in service, however in the T&Cs it says it will only pay out where the employee has made it known whom they would like to benefit - as the illness was that short and sudden he never had time to do this, so his employer are currently negotiating with the pension provider on our behalf to come to some resolution.

    - Property with £20,000 remaining on the mortgage
    - savings and current account
    - cash stored in a safe in his property
    - death in service benefit from employer
    - value of several cars and motorbikes
    - private pension paid into for 32 years, his employer is currently looking into this for us

    Re doing it ourselves, the solicitor we're going to see are a 'one stop shop' and can handle everything, including the sale of the house. Colleagues have used them before and the rates are pretty reasonable for the area. I've had a look on that link and it seems fairly straightforward, but if they're quite isn't too ridiculous I think it'd be easier to let them carry on and do it all.

    Thanks again,

  6. #6
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Father died intestate, but not on birth certificate - Help!

    It seems like you are both on the ball with it all. You know where we are if you have any queries.
    All the best.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

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