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    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 4:26 PM
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    jenberry
    Mum's partner died with debt...
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:26 PM
    Mum's partner died with debt... 12th Apr 18 at 4:26 PM
    Hi all,

    My mum's partner of 20 years passed away last month. They were never married, nor did he leave a will (due to illness, he was unable to communicate or write towards the end). My mum, upon cleaning out the house, has come across some letters belonging to her partner that were previously unopened from HMRC dating back to 2016 and demanding 4000+ in unpaid taxes. My mum is unable to access his bank account to determine if these taxes were ever paid, and we are concerned that it would be her responsibility to pay these (and any other unknown debt that may be outstanding). Given they were not married and did not share property, who would be responsible for paying these bills if indeed they remain outstanding? We were completely unaware of this debt until today.

    Thank you in advance.
Page 1
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 12th Apr 18, 4:33 PM
    • 4,726 Posts
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    74jax
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:33 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:33 PM
    Who is his next of kin? Who paid for funeral? Who registered death ?

    Did he own his own property ?
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 12th Apr 18, 4:42 PM
    • 1,883 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:42 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:42 PM
    If it's his personal debt your mum is not responsible. Don't let her offer to pay anything though because most creditors will say thanks very much and take it. I'd write a letter and include a death certificate so all creditors know what's happened.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 12th Apr 18, 5:24 PM
    • 8,318 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:24 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:24 PM
    Don't panic.

    Don't pay anything to anybody unless the funds come out of his estate.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
    • 90 Posts
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    jenberry
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
    Who is his next of kin? Who paid for funeral? Who registered death ?

    Did he own his own property ?
    Originally posted by 74jax
    My mum paid for the funeral and registered death. He didn't have a will and so the money went to his own mother. He did not own property.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    • 90 Posts
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    jenberry
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
    If it's his personal debt your mum is not responsible. Don't let her offer to pay anything though because most creditors will say thanks very much and take it. I'd write a letter and include a death certificate so all creditors know what's happened.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    Thank you. The problem is that my mum doesn't have 4,000 to spare and gave up working to look after him so money is an issue. I don't believe she should be responsible for this debt, especially as she didn't know about it, but then what I believe isn't really a consideration here!
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 12th Apr 18, 5:49 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:49 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:49 PM
    He didn't have a will and so the money went to his own mother.
    Originally posted by jenberry
    The money shouldn't go straight to mum.

    Funeral.

    Clear debts.

    Laws of intestacy if there's any left. That may not be his Mum.
    https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will

    I don't believe she should be responsible for this debt
    She isn't. But his money should be used to clear it before any individual inherits any of it.
    Last edited by PeacefulWaters; 12-04-2018 at 6:01 PM.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 6:09 PM
    • 90 Posts
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    jenberry
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:09 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:09 PM
    The money shouldn't go straight to mum.

    Funeral.

    Clear debts.

    Laws of intestacy if there's any left. That may not be his Mum.
    https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will

    She isn't. But his money should be used to clear it before any individual inherits any of it.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    I agree, though the funeral had already been paid for and his mother was listed as his closest family (it was then forwarded to his sister as mother is very elderly).
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 12th Apr 18, 6:12 PM
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    unholyangel
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:12 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:12 PM
    My mum paid for the funeral and registered death. He didn't have a will and so the money went to his own mother. He did not own property.
    Originally posted by jenberry
    Who gave the money to his mother? Was there enough money to pay his debts?
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 6:13 PM
    • 90 Posts
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    jenberry
    I agree, though the funeral had already been paid for and his mother was listed as his closest family (it was then forwarded to his sister as mother is very elderly).
    Originally posted by jenberry
    I should also mention that he had only a few hundred pounds to his name so not even enough to cover things like funeral costs.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 6:14 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    jenberry
    Who gave the money to his mother? Was there enough money to pay his debts?
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    The life insurance plan he had been paying into only for a few months. It was sent to his mum but wouldn't have been enough to cover ay debts or funeral costs - just a few hundred pounds.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 12th Apr 18, 6:23 PM
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    unholyangel
    The life insurance plan he had been paying into only for a few months. It was sent to his mum but wouldn't have been enough to cover ay debts or funeral costs - just a few hundred pounds.
    Originally posted by jenberry
    The reason I was asking was because if your mum had administered the estate and had paid out estate funds to beneficiaries without settling debts of the estate, your mum could have ended up liable.

    If this is a life insurance policy that named his mum as beneficiary then I believe it passes outside of his estate.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 12th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    Ok, if a life assurance plan is written in trust it's fine that money goes to the beneficiary of the policy. It doesn't form part of the estate. If it's not written in trust it does form part of the estate and should go to the loan companies first.

    The few hundred left in his bank account should be used to partially clear any debts pro rata, advising the lenders there's no other money left.

    Somebody walking off with "just a few hundred" is not the correct way to do things when there is money owed elsewhere.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 6:27 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    jenberry
    The reason I was asking was because if your mum had administered the estate and had paid out estate funds to beneficiaries without settling debts of the estate, your mum could have ended up liable.

    If this is a life insurance policy that named his mum as beneficiary then I believe it passes outside of his estate.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Ah yes, this makes sense to me. His estate is basically non-existant as my mum has carried him financially since they met so I'm not sure if this changes things but I doubt my mum would therefore be liable for his debt. Thank you.
    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 12th Apr 18, 6:30 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    jenberry
    Ok, if a life assurance plan is written in trust it's fine that money goes to the beneficiary of the policy. It doesn't form part of the estate. If it's not written in trust it does form part of the estate and should go to the loan companies first.

    The few hundred left in his bank account should be used to partially clear any debts pro rata, advising the lenders there's no other money left.

    Somebody walking off with "just a few hundred" is not the correct way to do things when there is money owed elsewhere.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    I agree, though this was only uncovered a couple of weeks after the life insurance plan had been paid out. We are unsure if the debt is still owed as the letters were from 2016 and we have no way of accessing his bank statements from the past to see if money was paid to this amount. But as it stands, there is nothing in his estate so just wondered if it was my mum's responsibility to pay (even though they were not married, did not share children or property etc).
    • Ames
    • By Ames 12th Apr 18, 6:50 PM
    • 17,432 Posts
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    Ames
    Ok, if a life assurance plan is written in trust it's fine that money goes to the beneficiary of the policy. It doesn't form part of the estate. If it's not written in trust it does form part of the estate and should go to the loan companies first.

    The few hundred left in his bank account should be used to partially clear any debts pro rata, advising the lenders there's no other money left.

    Somebody walking off with "just a few hundred" is not the correct way to do things when there is money owed elsewhere.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Is that true in this case though, or do tax debts have priority over any others?
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Apr 18, 8:30 AM
    • 32,745 Posts
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    getmore4less
    Is that true in this case though, or do tax debts have priority over any others?
    Originally posted by Ames
    They(taxes) used to but no longer do.

    The funeral costs take priority over everything.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Apr 18, 11:34 AM
    • 6,700 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    You mum won't be liable. However, it's important that she doesn't get involved with dealing with any of his assets, as this can be 'inter-meddling' with an estate which. Simply telling people about the death, or passing documents to the executor or administrator is not inter-meddling.

    I'd suggest that for any paperwork she finds, she passes this over to his mum (or sister) and that for anyone who contacts her, see simply explains that he has died, that she is not the executor or administrator and is not dealing with the estate.

    She would only be liable for anything which was in the joint names of your mum and her partner, or for which she had signed a guarantee.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Apr 18, 12:14 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    No your mum is not liable. She is not his next of kin and there was no estate to speak of. If any money he had went to his mum/sister then send the HMRC stuff there too.
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    • jenberry
    • By jenberry 13th Apr 18, 3:22 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    jenberry
    You mum won't be liable. However, it's important that she doesn't get involved with dealing with any of his assets, as this can be 'inter-meddling' with an estate which. Simply telling people about the death, or passing documents to the executor or administrator is not inter-meddling.

    I'd suggest that for any paperwork she finds, she passes this over to his mum (or sister) and that for anyone who contacts her, see simply explains that he has died, that she is not the executor or administrator and is not dealing with the estate.

    She would only be liable for anything which was in the joint names of your mum and her partner, or for which she had signed a guarantee.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Thank you. This is really reassuring as this is what she has done so far. Other than arranging the funeral and notifying relevant people, she hasn't dealt with any of the money side of things.
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