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dad died. blocked from the funeral. He was unmarried. unsure of will

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  • dad died. blocked from the funeral. He was unmarried. unsure of will

    hi, i'm after advice.

    my dad recently died suddenly. He hadn't married his partner at the time.
    now i've totally been kept in the dark regarding funeral and been told i'm not allowed to go and cant find out when it is.
    me and my dad weren't close in fact he didn't bother for most of his life with me.
    i understand that he has potentially two houses and money in his estate, i'm unsure if there was a will in place.
    How do i find out about the will?
    Contacting the partner is out of the question as she's quite hostile towards me?
    Im his only child so would be the sole heir to the estate.
    I don't have any money behind me to shell out for solicitors.

    i just don't know the best avenue to go down really.

    any help would be appreciated

    thanks
    luke
    Tags: None

  • #2
    A couple of points

    You say "Im his only child so would be the sole heir to the estate" but that is not the law, especially if your father has left a Will. If he has left a Will he can leave his houses and money to whoever he likes. He isn't required to leave any of it to you. There are some limited circumstances where you might be able to challenge a Will that left you nothing but you would certainly need a solicitor to advise you whether you had a case.

    It is not possible to find out whether there is a Will until the Executors have been granted Probate (or, if he died without leaving a Will, until Letters of Administration are granted). That can take 6 months or more. About 14 days after the grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is issued they become public documents posted on this government website. You can buy a copy and download it as a pdf. It only costs about 1. So keep checking the website.

    Search probate records for documents and wills (England and Wales) (probatesearch.service.gov.uk)

    As far as the funeral is concerned there is no legal duty on the people organising it to tell you about it, nor do you have any right to attend it. Try searching for "funeral + [your fathers name]" and something might come up. Or if you know where he died search the websites of local papers in that area, or in the area where he lived. His partner might have put a death announcement in a local paper. That would enable you to send flowers or a card to the Funeral Director handling the funeral.
    Last edited by PallasAthena; 9th August 2023, 15:35:PM.
    All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

    Comment


    • #3
      You are only the sole heir if your late father made a Will to that effect or if he left no Will and there are no other persons who might have a claim under intestacy rules to a share in the estate.

      If your father left a Will, its terms will apply.

      In any event, the partner, if not properly provided for, may have a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

      To find out if there was a will, you will need to ask people. The obvious ones are the partner and your father's solicitor (you may have to contact all the law firms in his area). There are a couple of Will registers you can search, but these are voluntary, and may not have the details.

      You can also do a standing search at the Probate Registry: https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate.
      Lawyer (solicitor) - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by private message.

      Litigants in Person should download and read this: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/..._in_Person.pdf

      Comment


      • #4


        Thanks for the replies,

        I do understand obviously if there is a will the terms in that dictate the estate. I'm more wanting to find out if there is one or not, and if not could she potentially make a claim to it by saying anything like she doesnt know i exist or something.

        what process is there to stop it?

        i live in wales he died in coventry so makes it a little bit awkward with trying to find people who knew him.
        ​​​​​​​the ringing of solicitors is a good shout (i can imagine there's a lot there ).

        so basically i have to sit back and keep searching on that database ?

        thanks
        luke

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes.

          The question of how to find if someone has left a Will often comes up but there's no easy answer. In English law a Will only becomes a public document that anyone can read when Probate has been granted to the Executors. Before then no-one is obliged to record the existence of their Will anywhere. It's a private document. Typically the person who makes the Will only gives copies to the Executors they have named, and the original may be stored by the Solicitor who drew it up or one of the Wills Registers that have been referred to.

          It seems very unlikely you are named as an Executor in the Will. atticus will correct me if I have this wrong, but my understanding is that even if you did find the solicitor or Will storage service that has your father's Will it wouldn't help you much, other than confirming that a Will exists. Neither solicitors nor Will storers will give you the Will because you have no legal right to it unless you are an Executor.

          What happens if there is a Will and it leaves something to you but the Executor won't pay it to you is a whole different set of issues. Once Probate is granted and you know what the Will says there are legal steps you could take against the Executor(s).
          Last edited by PallasAthena; 9th August 2023, 16:43:PM.
          All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

          Comment


          • #6
            ok thank you for the advice it's helped a lot.

            one more thing if you don't mind. If it turns out there is not a will (which currently is my thinking from the limited information i have) and as he isn't married, how does the process go then? Is that the point when solicitors would have to be contacted? and how long do i keep these searches on the probate register before i assume that there wasn't a will?

            All this could be made a lot easier is the partner wasn't hostile towards me, she's never met me and refuses any contact with me.

            thanks again
            luke


            Comment


            • #7
              To find out who inherits what if someone dies without leaving a Will (dies "intestate") use this calculator on gov.uk: Intestacy - who inherits if someone dies without a will? - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Under the intestacy rules his unmarried partner would get nothing. But as atticus pointed out his partner might still be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

              If there is no Will the closest living relative can apply for Probate/Letters of Administration. That is presumably you.

              Applying for probate: If there is not a will - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

              Although the unmarried partner is ignoring you now she might change her mind if you tell her formally in writing (signed for/proof of posting) that as your father's nearest living relative you intend to apply for Probate under Intestacy rules and take control of his assets unless she can provide you with a copy of a Will.
              All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

              Comment


              • #8
                PallasAthena makes a good suggestion in that last post.
                Lawyer (solicitor) - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by private message.

                Litigants in Person should download and read this: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/..._in_Person.pdf

                Comment


                • #9
                  thank you ill try that

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bear in mind that your main aim at this point is to get your late father's partner to disclose if a Will exists, and preferably to get a copy of it. Even if you can't get a copy knowing it exists will tell you that eventually it will appear on the gov.uk site linked earlier.

                    What you don't want to happen is to actually have to carry out your threat of applying for Probate/Letters of Adminsitration. Because to do that you need quite a lot of information about your father's assets - look at the form on the link in Post #7 - and you don't have that information. In practice that will be hard for you to do without her co-operation. And if he has two properties Inheritance Tax might have to be paid.

                    Of course if there really isn't a Will she might be more willing to co-operate once she discovers that an unmarried partner can't apply for Probate/Letters of Administration under intestacy rules but you can.
                    All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

                    Comment

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