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  • FIRST POST
    • bramshallman
    • By bramshallman 5th May 18, 5:38 PM
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    bramshallman
    Eligibility to claim estate - no proof???
    • #1
    • 5th May 18, 5:38 PM
    Eligibility to claim estate - no proof??? 5th May 18 at 5:38 PM
    Hi All

    My mother has inherited a sum of money from her late father. She has applied to the court as his only known NOK and been awarded a grant of administration. Around the same time, a woman claiming to be another daughter of the deceased contacted my mum expecting to receive half the estate. Neither my mum or the other sibling have had much of a relationship with the deceased due to him having abandoned them (at least in my mum's case) and it taking many years to relocate him.

    The mystery sibling has been asked to provide a birth certificate by my mother who is now the executor of the deceased estate. After many excuses and contradictions it has emerged that the deceased is not named on her birth certificate as her father.. this space is simply blank. Where does this leave my mother legally? Does she have to share the estate with her in the absence of proof? How else could proof be obtained by the mystery sibling?

    Naturally my mum has placed a notice of death in the London Gazette, on expiry if this (2 months and 1 day) is my mum entitled to keep the entire estate in the absence of any proof of being a beneficiary from the mystery sibling??

    Thank you all in advance
Page 1
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 5th May 18, 5:51 PM
    • 22,976 Posts
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    Tigsteroonie
    • #2
    • 5th May 18, 5:51 PM
    • #2
    • 5th May 18, 5:51 PM
    With no birth certificate, the only other proof this individual could produce is DNA evidence; and in the absence of the deceased, your mother would have to provide DNA for the labs to then test the likelihood of them being half-siblings. It's Jeremy Kyle territory.

    Has this other individual made any suggestion as to how they might progress in the absence of proof? If it's as simple as saying "He was my father", then hello, he was my father too
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    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th May 18, 6:09 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #3
    • 5th May 18, 6:09 PM
    • #3
    • 5th May 18, 6:09 PM
    No proof no payout! The claimed sibling needs to have that made very clear.
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 5th May 18, 7:05 PM
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    Flugelhorn
    • #4
    • 5th May 18, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 5th May 18, 7:05 PM
    say the "sister" had been adopted into another family then even a DNA match wouldn't give her any rights.

    The lack of a name on the birth cert and presumably any mention in a will gives the "sister" no chance at all
    • Ammy
    • By Ammy 7th May 18, 8:56 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ammy
    • #5
    • 7th May 18, 8:56 AM
    • #5
    • 7th May 18, 8:56 AM
    Looking at things from the other side, I will find myself in a similar situation to the Ďsisterí shortly.

    My father, who has end stage heart failure is only expected to live for a few more weeks. He does not have a will and was rather anxious about this as he believed that his estate would go to the State; the reason he thinks this is because he was not married to my mum and he is not named on my birth certificate. I have been told by a solicitor who did visit him to try to draw up a will that the laws of intestacy would apply and as he does not have a spouse and I am his only child then his full estate would come to me.

    Although he was involved on and off in my life, this could of course still be disputed by other (distant) members of the family trying to push me to one side to get their hands on his money. But if that does happen then Iím told that it would indeed require a DNA test to resolve the matter as Tigsteroonie mentions above.

    My dad has had ill health for some time now and made it clear to those around him that heíd like myself and my 5 year old son to inherit so Iíve no idea why he didnít just make a will to tie up any loose ends.
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 7th May 18, 9:17 AM
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    Flugelhorn
    • #6
    • 7th May 18, 9:17 AM
    • #6
    • 7th May 18, 9:17 AM
    There is a bit of a difference Ammy in that your father recognises you as his child and you are in contact with him in life , I think the OP's sister just appeared out of the blue.

    It is such a shame that he didn't manage to make the will, is it worth another go by the solicitor? So long as he names you in it then there should be no argument from others in the family
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 7th May 18, 9:40 AM
    • 1,684 Posts
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    Brynsam
    • #7
    • 7th May 18, 9:40 AM
    • #7
    • 7th May 18, 9:40 AM
    There is a bit of a difference Ammy in that your father recognises you as his child and you are in contact with him in life , I think the OP's sister just appeared out of the blue.
    Originally posted by Flugelhorn
    But an illegitimate child could still claim if the DNA evidence stacks up. See http://www.privycouncil.org.uk/Formalities/Components/Assets/Beneficiaries/Who-esle-May-Benefit-From-A-Will.html

    Many people with unmarried parents don't have a father on their birth certificate. Unless both parents are present at the time of registration, the father would need to complete a statutory declaration of parenthood to acknowledge the child is his - and funnily enough quite a lot of men don't want to do that...
    Last edited by Brynsam; 07-05-2018 at 9:55 AM.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 7th May 18, 10:00 AM
    • 3,104 Posts
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    unforeseen
    • #8
    • 7th May 18, 10:00 AM
    • #8
    • 7th May 18, 10:00 AM
    say the "sister" had been adopted into another family then even a DNA match wouldn't give her any rights.

    The lack of a name on the birth cert and presumably any mention in a will gives the "sister" no chance at all
    Originally posted by Flugelhorn
    On adoption , even in the case of the mother and a new partner/husband adopting, a new birth certificate is issued with the new parents' details

    The lack of a name on the birth certificate pushes the proof back to DNA
    Last edited by unforeseen; 07-05-2018 at 10:03 AM.
    • Middlestitch
    • By Middlestitch 7th May 18, 10:01 AM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 2,410 Thanks
    Middlestitch
    • #9
    • 7th May 18, 10:01 AM
    • #9
    • 7th May 18, 10:01 AM
    Naturally my mum has placed a notice of death in the London Gazette, on expiry if this (2 months and 1 day) is my mum entitled to keep the entire estate in the absence of any proof of being a beneficiary from the mystery sibling??
    Originally posted by bramshallman
    Birth certificates are helpful but not necessarily conclusive. Your mother has been alerted to a possible claim, so the claimant needs to be given adequate time to prove her case - and DNA evidence would certainly be one way to do so.

    Depending on the value of the estate, it could be worth a word with a solicitor working in this area to discuss how best to handle things.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 7th May 18, 10:03 AM
    • 1,684 Posts
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    Brynsam
    On adoption a new birth certificate is issued with the new parents' details
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    The Adoption Act 2006 was not retrospective - see link in my previous post (wet towel round head territory!).
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 7th May 18, 10:10 AM
    • 30,054 Posts
    • 77,186 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Looking at things from the other side, I will find myself in a similar situation to the Ďsisterí shortly.

    My father, who has end stage heart failure is only expected to live for a few more weeks.

    I have been told by a solicitor who did visit him to try to draw up a will that the laws of intestacy would apply and as he does not have a spouse and I am his only child then his full estate would come to me.

    Although he was involved on and off in my life, this could of course still be disputed by other (distant) members of the family trying to push me to one side to get their hands on his money. But if that does happen then Iím told that it would indeed require a DNA test to resolve the matter as Tigsteroonie mentions above.
    Originally posted by Ammy
    Did the solicitor suggest how you could prove that you are his daughter if your position is challenged?

    Could you get an acceptable dna test done now to confirm your parentage? If not, you would have to keep something that could be proved to belong to your father in order to match against your dna.

    It's a horrible thing to have to worry about while your Dad is in his last days.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 7th May 18, 10:51 AM
    • 3,104 Posts
    • 4,093 Thanks
    unforeseen
    The Adoption Act 2006 was not retrospective - see link in my previous post (wet towel round head territory!).
    Originally posted by Brynsam
    In which case do it a slightly different way. Order the birth certificate for that person. If adopted this will be marked on the certificate with an A or similar. However you will not be able to tie it to an entry in the Adopted Childrens Register but there is no need as you have proved adoption.

    That is a requirement that I have so far traced back in legislation to the Adoption Act 1976. There is also proof on the genealogy forums that this was happening back as far as the 50s even in situations where one of the original parents is one of the adopters
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 7th May 18, 12:26 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 648 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    OP - It would seem that at the beginning, the commonsense approach is to ask this 'mystery woman' what evidence she does have. Your mother can then either decide that satisfies her, or contact a solicitor. But a solicitor will cost less if she has the paperwork etc, to hand.

    I think it reasonable to write formal letter (sent 'Signed For') to say that if evidence is not produced by.....date, then your mum regards the matter as closed. There is guidance on how long you should reasonably give (I know it through the Probate Office, and presume something similar applies, so you can ask the office that deals with Grants of Administration)

    As for 'evidence' than I think that is either up to your mum, or she needs to take legal advice. I am aware (when for instance it comes to other claims around parentage) that the courts accept evidence that the father has acknowledged the child as his own, to family& friends, some institutions etc. But I suspect that the woman has no such evidence or she would have produced it.
    Good luck to you and your mum.

    Ammy - I hope this works out for you, and it does help that solicitor knows he acknowledges you as his child.
    • Ammy
    • By Ammy 10th May 18, 9:41 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ammy
    Thanks for the advice everyone.Sorry for the delayed response, I didn't get a chance to logon earlier.

    @Flugelhorn - I think you're right about the will. I will try speaking to my dad again just so that the matter can be put to bed.

    @Mojisola - you make a good point - I hadn't considered that I could/should keep something for DNA sampling. As others mentioned, at least my dad has claimed me, for instance he gave me away at my wedding and signed the marriage certificate as my father. Plus his friends and other associates know about me and his grandson so I guess all of this contributes to making a strong case (if challenged).

    @buildersdaughter - thank you - so far the solicitor has been very helpful and professional.

    @OP - I hope everything works out and doesn't take too long to resolve. I guess a big part of the problem is 'not knowing' especially at a time that must be very emotionally charged.
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