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  • FIRST POST
    • Moose1960
    • By Moose1960 2nd Jan 18, 9:11 AM
    • 23Posts
    • 5Thanks
    Moose1960
    Dying intestate - obligations of next of kin?
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:11 AM
    Dying intestate - obligations of next of kin? 2nd Jan 18 at 9:11 AM
    Looking for advice for my elderly parents.

    My mother has just been informed that her elder brother has died. Naturally she is upset but not really wracked with grief. They were not estranged but neither were they close - he lived a good distance away and the only contact for years has been the exchange of Christmas cards.

    He lived and died alone and Mum has been contacted by the police as they found something in his flat naming her as next of kin. The cause will be determined by autopsy (unexplained death, but no suggestion of suspicious circumstances) and parents are awaiting a call from the coroner. We don't think that he'd made a will and doubt that he has a large estate (rented accommodation for all his life, no career to speak of).

    Early days then, but parents' immediate concern is what obligations, if any, Mum may have as next of kin. Both are elderly themselves, not in the greatest health and ill equipped to be driving a long distance to the brother's home town and dealing with banks and all of the other administration that death unfortunately occasions.

    Naturally I'll help them where I can and some or all of their questions may be answered anyway in the course of developments in the next few days.

    I haven't tried Google yet and thought I would turn to the good people here first:

    Does the next of kin have any obligations to take on the administration? If not, and they either do not want or are unable to get involved, what happens? Are there reputable professional service providers who will carry it out for a reasonable fee without fleecing the bereaved?
Page 2
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 3rd Jan 18, 1:06 PM
    • 617 Posts
    • 583 Thanks
    nom de plume
    Don't think the question has been asked or answered before. Did the deceased have any children / grandchildren?
    • Moose1960
    • By Moose1960 4th Jan 18, 1:53 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Moose1960
    No it isn't - that would only be the case if there was an inquest, in which case the coroner does become the informant who registers the death.
    Originally posted by TonyMMM
    I stand corrected.
    • Moose1960
    • By Moose1960 4th Jan 18, 1:58 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Moose1960
    Don't think the question has been asked or answered before. Did the deceased have any children / grandchildren?
    Originally posted by nom de plume
    No, hence his sister being next of kin.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 6th Jan 18, 3:28 PM
    • 2,416 Posts
    • 3,681 Thanks
    securityguy
    The problem is with doing anything involving the deceased's property, you will then be liable as you will have intermeddled.
    Originally posted by Margot123
    No you haven't. I go away for a few months, and return to the same misconception. Intermeddling requires you to be doing things that executors do. That doesn't include "anything involving the deceased's property". You are right to say that you might get hassled by creditors. But intermeddling is a much more concrete thing to have done, and gives you the legal obligations (not just "the chance of getting some letters you can safely ignore") of an executor. That's not cancelling the milk and redirecting the post, that's doing things like selling shares, renting out houses or otherwise making large, identifiable decisions which materially affect (or have the potential to materially affect) the value of the estate.
    • Moose1960
    • By Moose1960 9th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Moose1960
    I've not posted for a few days due to things going quiet but they are expected to kick off again with a call from the coroner tomorrow, previously suggested as the date that the autopsy results will be known.

    In the few calls that Mum received in the early days she became confused, didn't take notes and can't remember who she was speaking to or who said what. I've asked parents to let the phone "ring out" and go to answerphone then pass the message on to me, and will then go round to theirs and make the appropriate calls - to the coroner's office, the residential home and other involved parties to emphasise that my mother will have no involvement here. That's assuming that the various parties will accept such instruction from me - possibly they will need her authority to deal with me on her behalf.

    Is it really that simple though? In the absence of appointed executors/personal representatives are those involved (the coroner, the home) likely to continue to harass the next of kin to get the matter off their hands?

    Further, one of the callers (Mum can't remember who) suggested that if we wanted to visit to examine his personal effects, find a will (unlikely) etc then Mum would need power of attorney. I can understand the requirement for proof of executorship or letters of administration, but power of attorney for a dead person?
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 10th Jan 18, 12:30 AM
    • 37,970 Posts
    • 34,401 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Further, one of the callers (Mum can't remember who) suggested that if we wanted to visit to examine his personal effects, find a will (unlikely) etc then Mum would need power of attorney. I can understand the requirement for proof of executorship or letters of administration, but power of attorney for a dead person?
    Originally posted by Moose1960
    You're right, PofA ceases on death, but I would expect them to require some proof that Mum is who she says she is, and has some valid reason to go poking through his effects ...

    But it's another reason to say "nope, no can / will do."
    Still knitting!
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