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  • Probate

    My partners mother passed away a few years ago and she died without leaving a will. He obviously organised her funeral and then repaired and made safe her property after flood damage. At this time he could not face dealing with anything further for emotional reasons. Her property has been left empty for a number of years. Recently it has been brought to his attention by friends of his mother, who he had left keys to the property with, that the locks had been changed and that items belonging inside that flat had been removed and a for sale sign had been erected outside. We have been able to find out that an application for probate had been made back in November last year by his brother and half sister. How does he stand from a legal point of view?
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  • #2
    Sorry, I misread your post.

    As there is no will the intestacy rules are in play and he would be a beneficiary under those rules. He would, of course, be entitled to any of his property he might left in the house. He will have a claim against the estate for the cost of her funeral and for the cost of repairing flood damage and generally keeping the property safe.

    Last edited by efpom; 4th September 2019, 12:33:PM. Reason: misread the post went off on somthing that does not apply


    • #3
      Thankyou for replying. My partner wishes for no re-compense with regards to costs - he is mainly concerned with regards to the principal of the matter. This is of course complicated as many family situations are but ultimately legally, would his siblings not have to make an acknowledgement of their brother or does my partner have to make himself known to their solicitors? Who ultimately, in matters of intestacy oversees and ensures that each sibling/child is identified by the administrators (who happen to be his siblings) once granted probate?


      • #4
        Assuming the law of England and Wales applies, this is straightforward - the mother died intestate, therefore the rules of intestacy apply. As children of the deceased. He and his brother are beneficiaries - his stepsister may or may not be a beneficiary, Children include legally-adopted sons or daughters (but not the parent's stepchildren)

        His brother is entitled to apply for and be granted probate - his stepsister may not have been entitled to do so.

        The administrator of the estate, his brother, has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries.

        The solicitor involved is the solicitor of the estate, not your brother's solicitor, although he is instructed by the administrator - the brother.

        Action: addressed to your partner.
        Write to the solicitor reminding him that you are a beneficiary and, if she was NOT the child of the deceased, raising doubt about your stepsister's entitlement to be a beneficiary and if that status cannot be proved, to take part in the administration.

        As to who ultimately supervises the administrator - the court does.


        • #5
          Thanks again. We will write to the solicitor that extracted the grant. I take it that that is who they have instructed?


          • #6
            What was the date of death of the deceased?
            What was the date of the grant of probate?
            Was the deceased the natural daughter of the deceased?
            If the answer to that is - no, was she adopted by the deceased?


            • #7
              sorry for the delay in replying
              The date was December 2012
              The probate was dated November 2018
              And my partners half sister was the natural daughter of the deceased


              • #8
                As six years have elapsed between the passing of the deceased, and the grant of administration, I do not think that your partner can have any ground to complain that his siblings eventually took the long delayed administration of the deceased's estate into their own hands. On the contrary, he ought to be very grateful to them that they eventually did so.


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