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  • FIRST POST
    • Angelcakes879
    • By Angelcakes879 13th Mar 17, 5:58 PM
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    Angelcakes879
    Are my children entitled to their father's possessions?
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 17, 5:58 PM
    Are my children entitled to their father's possessions? 13th Mar 17 at 5:58 PM
    I am after some advice. My children's father died suddenly a few weeks ago at a young age, unfortunately he did not have a will. We had 3 children together ages 12, 7 and 6.
    We were renting a housing association house in which it was under my name, 3 years ago we split up and i signed the tenancy over to him and bought my own house. The children stayed there on weekends so had quite a few belongings of theirs, toys etc in their bedrooms.
    Unfortunately I didn't have a key to his house, and since his death his parents have practically moved in to the house and will not let me into the house to collect the children's belongings. Obviously this is very upsetting for my children and me as alot of our family photos are in the attic. I have tried contacting them regarding going to pick up the children's belongings and have had no reply.
    What I want to know is who do his possessions legally get left to?
    My ex was not close to his parents, i have been told that they have already removed furniture etc from the house. Who can i contact with regards to getting my childrens belongings? I have tried the housing association and unfortunately they do not have a key. Any advice would be greatful
Page 1
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 13th Mar 17, 6:04 PM
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    Torry Quine
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 6:04 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 6:04 PM
    In the abscence of a will his children are the ones to inherit under intestacy laws. His parents no right to anything other than if they paid for the funeral then the estate would have to pay that.
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 13th Mar 17, 6:16 PM
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    iammumtoone
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 6:16 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 6:16 PM
    Sorry for your loss it must be hard for you as you have lost your ex partner and the father to your children.

    His parents will also be grieving (even if they weren't that close they have still lost a son)

    To contact them just to ask when you can get your children's possessions might have some across a bit insensitive to them. How about you contact them again starting off that you would like your children to have a relationship with their fathers family still and then move onto the question of getting their belongings back. At this moment as well as losing their son they will also be concerned that they are never going to see their grandchildren again.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 10 #017
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    • Angelcakes879
    • By Angelcakes879 13th Mar 17, 6:50 PM
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    Angelcakes879
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 6:50 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 6:50 PM
    I have tried to do this as sensitively as possible. My ex was a big part of my family and we still did things regularly with the children. His parents were never interested in a relationship with my children when my ex was alive, i told them at the funeral that they could see the children whenever they wanted but they have not followed up on my offer. I find it highly insensitive of them not to be taking my children's feelings into consideration, I am the one who has had to deal with their grieve which has been made harder with not having their toys from christmas, Teddy bears etc, photos of their father.
    His parents have practically moved into the house and have started removing furniture etc. The housing association are collecting the keys within the next two weeks so I have to act now. What I want to know is who can i turn to for advice?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 13th Mar 17, 7:06 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:06 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:06 PM
    I have tried to do this as sensitively as possible. My ex was a big part of my family and we still did things regularly with the children. His parents were never interested in a relationship with my children when my ex was alive, i told them at the funeral that they could see the children whenever they wanted but they have not followed up on my offer. I find it highly insensitive of them not to be taking my children's feelings into consideration, I am the one who has had to deal with their grieve which has been made harder with not having their toys from christmas, Teddy bears etc, photos of their father.
    His parents have practically moved into the house and have started removing furniture etc. The housing association are collecting the keys within the next two weeks so I have to act now. What I want to know is who can i turn to for advice?
    Originally posted by Angelcakes879
    The nuclear option is to involve the police. His parents have stolen , or are about to, steal the property belonging to the children.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 13-03-2017 at 7:23 PM.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 13th Mar 17, 7:35 PM
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    • #6
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:35 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:35 PM
    The nuclear option is to invlve the police. His parents have, or are about to, steal the property belong to the children.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Whether the nuclear option is a good idea is another matter, though, and going to war over this may not be the best course in the long run.

    Bear in mind that the children are entitled to everything he owned, not just their toys (which they owned, anyway). However, he may have had debts. So, his assets should go first to pay any creditors, before the kids get anything.

    His parents, as next of kin, are it seems acting as administrators of his estate. They won't have letters of administration yet, but it's entirely sensible that they should make a start. Emptying the home and storing the contents, to stop rent accumulating, seems entirely practical. I have no idea how you can tell whether they are doing that or simply pilfering his stuff.

    If you really believe they are pilfering his stuff, you can involve the police.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 13th Mar 17, 10:31 PM
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    Malthusian
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:31 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:31 PM
    It's far too early to talk about the nuclear option given that the OP has not tried simply turning up to the house and banging on the door. If they receive no reply, wait until they come home. The OP says they've "practically moved in".

    Once they are there in person, blanking them becomes considerably more difficult.

    Option 2, send the 12 year old to ring the doorbell and ask for their toys/photos. Blanking your late son's ex is one thing, blanking your grandchild another.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Mar 17, 10:42 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:42 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:42 PM
    I think the biggest risk, particularly with things such as the photos, f they they could be thrown away.

    OP, one option might be to go to the house, and explain that it is important to the children to have their stuff. You could frame this as "I know you've a lot of work to deal with [name's] things - 'm just here to collect the things which belong to me ad the children, to get those out of your way"


    If they don't respond then a solicitor's letter might be the nest option, explicitly stating that the children's possessions, including the photographs, must not be disposed of. This will cost you, however.

    Is there anyone such as another family member who might be willing to speak to them on your behalf?

    I think it is likely that they are dealing with their grief in their own way - some people do react by wanting to do very practical things such as cleaning, disposing of items etc, so there may be an element of that here, plus there can be fairly short grace periods allowed by a .
    I'm sorry for your, and the children's, loss.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 14th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
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    silvercar
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
    Unfortunately I didn't have a key to his house, and since his death his parents have practically moved in to the house and will not let me into the house to collect the children's belongings
    Are they attempting to take over the tenancy?

    In the abscence of a will his children are the ones to inherit under intestacy laws. His parents no right to anything other than if they paid for the funeral then the estate would have to pay that.
    This ^^^^. One further step is that the children are under age and their nearest relative is you, so you have all the rights, acting on behalf of your children. The parents have less rights to be in the property or to attend to matters including sorting the property.

    The only reason you may not want to do this would be if there are debts, in which case you want to avoid "meddling" (in the legal sense) with the estate.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 14th Mar 17, 11:04 AM
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    GDB2222
    This ^^^^. One further step is that the children are under age and their nearest relative is you, so you have all the rights, acting on behalf of your children. The parents have less rights to be in the property or to attend to matters including sorting the property.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    I think the parents actually may have the right to administer the estate, not the OP. I am not an expert, but the order seems to be as follows:


    Intestacy rules will determine who has the right to apply for the letter of administration. This is normally their next of kin; the rules of intestacy set out the following order of priority.
    1. Husband, wife or civil partner (Note that common law partners cannot apply for probate)
    2. Adult children including sons or daughters adopted by the deceased, not step-children
    3. Parents
    4. Brothers or sisters
    5. Grandparents
    6. Uncles or aunts

    http://www.iwc-ltd.co.uk/letters-of-administration.html
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 14th Mar 17, 11:09 AM
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    GDB2222
    This is why I am saying the nuclear option is unwise. The parents are not necessarily doing anything wrong by dealing with the estate.

    The kids are still entitled to their toys, though.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Ziggazee
    • By Ziggazee 14th Mar 17, 2:05 PM
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    Ziggazee
    Gosh. It's stuff. Stuff that can be replaced.


    As time goes on the children will grow out of toys......the fact they lost a parent will stay with them forever.


    I'd be more concerned about channelling my energies into helping my children get through the grief of losing their father that you say they were so close to.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 14th Mar 17, 2:54 PM
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    Malthusian
    Gosh. It's stuff. Stuff that can be replaced.
    Originally posted by Ziggazee
    I'm as emotionally thick as they come but even I can see that family photos of their father cannot be replaced.

    Even leaving aside sentimental value, the OP didn't specify what the toys are but with three children aged up to 12 we could easily be talking about games consoles costing a few hundred pounds. That's not a sum of money I would just shrug off even if I could easily afford to replace them.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Mar 17, 3:20 PM
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    Mojisola
    Gosh. It's stuff. Stuff that can be replaced.

    As time goes on the children will grow out of toys......the fact they lost a parent will stay with them forever.

    I'd be more concerned about channelling my energies into helping my children get through the grief of losing their father that you say they were so close to.
    Originally posted by Ziggazee
    Having the 'stuff' that they had at their father's house could make a difference in how they cope with the loss - 'the teddy bear that Daddy bought me when we went to the seaside', 'the fluffly toy I always had in bed with me at Daddy's house', 'Daddy's nice soft sweater that I liked to stroke when he cuddled me', etc.

    And as for the photos - they are really important so that they can remember and talk about him and the things they did together.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 14th Mar 17, 5:00 PM
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    iammumtoone
    Gosh. It's stuff. Stuff that can be replaced.


    As time goes on the children will grow out of toys......the fact they lost a parent will stay with them forever.


    I'd be more concerned about channelling my energies into helping my children get through the grief of losing their father that you say they were so close to.
    Originally posted by Ziggazee
    I see plenty of heartless posts on MSE but that is one of the worse, I hope you are feeling ashamed of yourself.

    These children have lost their father do you expect them to lose all memories of him as well. They are not just toys. they are toys that their father brought them and having them to play with/keep will comfort them whilst they grieve.

    Where has the OP said they are not doing all they can to help their children I am sure they are, and in trying to help them they just want their processions back to assist with this.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 10 #017
    Declutter 2017 items in 2017 - 78/2017

    • troubleinparadise
    • By troubleinparadise 14th Mar 17, 5:02 PM
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    troubleinparadise
    Whilst no doubt the parents of ex-OH are grieving, despite not being close to their son, and whatever the relationship with the OP, would they really go as far as to prevent his children - their grandchildren - from being given their toys, and sentimental keepsakes of their father?

    I'd hope it would be unlikely, especially if they want on ongoing relationship with their grandchildren. Is there a neutral person who could act as go-between to help negotiations?
    • leespot
    • By leespot 14th Mar 17, 5:41 PM
    • 507 Posts
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    leespot
    Gosh. It's stuff. Stuff that can be replaced.


    As time goes on the children will grow out of toys......the fact they lost a parent will stay with them forever.


    I'd be more concerned about channelling my energies into helping my children get through the grief of losing their father that you say they were so close to.
    Originally posted by Ziggazee
    It might well be 'stuff' that their father gave to them - and that can't be replaced, nor the attachment. In which case, the OP is doing exactly the right thing in wanting to get said 'stuff' back for them. In doing so, she is channeling her efforts in entirely the right way to help them get through their grief.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 14th Mar 17, 6:59 PM
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    Voyager2002
    The nuclear option is to involve the police. His parents have stolen , or are about to, steal the property belonging to the children.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    The police would almost certainly say that this is a civil matter and refuse to get involved. So the nuclear option is to ask a solicitor to write to them and then if necessary begin court proceedings.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 14th Mar 17, 7:13 PM
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    GDB2222
    The police would almost certainly say that this is a civil matter and refuse to get involved. So the nuclear option is to ask a solicitor to write to them and then if necessary begin court proceedings.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    Begin court proceedings for what?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Mar 17, 7:22 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Begin court proceedings for what?
    Originally posted by GDB2222
    Theft of property or criminal damage by detroying them IS a criminal matter. If approached correctly the police will take action. A solicitor's letter is likely to be a waste of money.
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