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Legal next of kin issues after person dies. Please help!

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I will try and keep it at short and succinct as possible but please ask any further questions if I haven’t been clear.

my grandma died last Thursday after a very long battle with cancer. Over 6 years ago she started a funeral plan and over 50s insurance so she was able to afford to pay for her funeral and give her children some money when she finally passed away. As she hasn’t worked for many years because of her illness and relied on state benefits mainly, she didn’t have much savings and so wanted to ensure there was something for the family when she passed.

I have today spoke to the insurance company and they have asked about my grandmas husband. Who she separated from over 14 years ago. We don’t know where he lives or even if he is still alive and the worrying thing is the insurance money is legally his entitlement as my grandma didn’t write a will! We are so dumbfounded by this news and have no idea what to do! 

The lady at the insurance wasn’t very helpful and just told me to speak to probable but I don’t want to say or do something wrong and the money goes missing! Has anyone been in this situation and what would you suggest I do now?

There is only enough money to pay for the funeral and there won’t be lots left after but it would be a shame if it goes to him. My grandma left him as she was abused for several years and finally got the courage to leave. As she’s been ill for soo long she never got legally divorced it just wasn’t a priority of hers.

thank you for any advice you could give me 
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Comments

  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,745 Forumite
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    edited 19 November 2021 at 4:55PM
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    When you take out life insurance I understand that you need to nominate a beneficiary. Didn't your grandmother nominate anyone?
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    I'm sorry for your loss.

    It may be worth speaking to them gain for a bit more information.

    Sometimes this kind of plan may have provisions allowing her to nominate beneficiaries but for the distribution to be ultimately at the discretion of the insurer, in which case they may need to know about her husband to determine whether they should exercise that discretion.

    Alternatively, they may be asking because if she did not leave a will, he is the person who is legally entitled to administer her estate, so they would expect to hear from him in that capacity.
    DO you have any paperwork your gran kept from when she took out the policy, that might shed any more light on the way it was set up?
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Keep_pedalling
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    The insurance company should pay out to whoever is administering the estate, unfortunately this may require you obtaining probate unless you find evidence that her husband has pre-deceased her.


  • cjk2021
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    When you take out life insurance I understand that you need to nominate a beneficiary. Didn't your grandmother nominate anyone?
    I will have to look through her documents. I believe the answer it more than likely no though as the insurance company said her ex is legal next of kin at the moment.
  • cjk2021
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    The insurance company should pay out to whoever is administering the estate, unfortunately this may require you obtaining probate unless you find evidence that her husband has pre-deceased her.


    She never wrote a will and unfortunately just trusted me to deal with everything once she passed. We didn’t have a clue whether he was alive or not earlier but I’ve just found out that he is in fact alive, thanks to a FB search.

    when you say obtaining probate, do you know what this would mean? The lady on the phone said we would need to speak to them but I’m worried as there isn’t any proof that they will try and contact her ex partner. 
  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546 Forumite
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    cjk2021 said:
    When you take out life insurance I understand that you need to nominate a beneficiary. Didn't your grandmother nominate anyone?
    I will have to look through her documents. I believe the answer it more than likely no though as the insurance company said her ex is legal next of kin at the moment.
    If your grandmother never divorced. Then this is correct. Is your grandfather still alive? 
  • cjk2021
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    TBagpuss said:
    I'm sorry for your loss.

    It may be worth speaking to them gain for a bit more information.

    Sometimes this kind of plan may have provisions allowing her to nominate beneficiaries but for the distribution to be ultimately at the discretion of the insurer, in which case they may need to know about her husband to determine whether they should exercise that discretion.

    Alternatively, they may be asking because if she did not leave a will, he is the person who is legally entitled to administer her estate, so they would expect to hear from him in that capacity.
    DO you have any paperwork your gran kept from when she took out the policy, that might shed any more light on the way it was set up?
    Thank you for your information!

    I have her insurance policy here that she originally got. I will have to look to see if she named any one. I assumed that because they were asking for his information and that he was legal next of kin, that any money after the funeral is paid is his. That’s kind of how she said it on the phone. She told me to ring probate and go through them as it wasn’t a big amount of money and it should be straight forward but as I’m unaware of what “going through probate” consists of, I really don’t want to ring them now and they ring her ex partner. If he was aware of this he wouldn’t think twice about trying to claim her money. 

    I just don’t know if going through probate will ensure he doesn’t get to do this! 

    Thanks again
  • wilfred30
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    As they were still legally married, I'm not sure there's anything you can do to stop him getting any money left over after the funeral expenses are paid.

    Given how easy it was for you to find him (on FB), I imagine it will be equally as easy for the insurance company to find him.
  • kazwookie
    kazwookie Posts: 13,896 Forumite
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    At the time of her death, was she legally still married to her husband, even if she left him many years ago?

    If that is the case, then legally husband is entitled to it all.  However when contact he might tell you to get lost.

    Then you will need legal advise as to what to do.

    People MUST make a will.

    I am sorry for your loss
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