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Am I liable for emptying a deceased's relative's flats unwanted furniture?


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Without the proper authorisation, any attempt to access the deceased's accounts would be theft and possibly fraud. Before you empty the accounts, you must apply to the Probate Registry for Letters of Administration (often known as "applying for probate). Once probate has been granted you can then liquidate the assets, identify any remaining living relatives, and then distribute the monies according to the rules of intestacy.

 

Failure to apply for probate would leave you open to a very expensive litigation if an unknown cousin popped up out of the woodwork claiming a share. Intermeddling in an estate could also expose you to the risk of any debtors holding you personally liable. By clearing the flat, you may well have crossed the line of intermeddling. If you are in any doubts about possible repercussions, please seek the advice from a qualified solicitor conversant with probate.

 

Excellent post.

 

Andy

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Ok, so you asked if you're liable for clearing the flat and here I tell you not the answer, but a story of a couple of years ago.

My friend was in a similar position, so asked me to help clearing the council flat.

Off we went and once there we started clearing.

Upon lifting the mattress, my friend noticed that it had been unstitched by 5/6 inches and hand sawn.

He ripped the stitching and there, in the middle of the filling an envelope with £2K cash.

So we ripped the mattress apart but nothing more.

Then we started checking all clothes that were already in black bags.

Two jackets lining had been open and re-stitched, another £500 a pop.

We went a bit mad and started checking the flat in every corner.

A further £1000 jammed between two frozen cod loins in a plastic bag.

£4K for a day work, not bad.

He gave me £500 so £3.5K profit.

Do you really want to let someone else clear the flat?

Old people tempt to keep cash and valuables in their home for a rainy day.

Good luck

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Right I don't know how many times I've got to keep repeating this as people obviously don't read the full thread, I am her only living relative. My Nan and grandfather had 3 children, my father was the only one to have a child that's me. My auntie never married or had children, neither did my uncle, both are now deceased including my father, so nobody is going to come out of any woodwork! It's only me left.

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I don't exactly know how much is in the bank account I think about £700 and £500 in a post office account, she was £800+ in credit with gas and electric, and also in credit with the phone bill and water which are all being refunded to me without any problems or going through probate, all I needed to do was send copie of the death certificate.

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Right I don't know how many times I've got to keep repeating this as people obviously don't read the full thread, I am her only living relative. My Nan and grandfather had 3 children, my father was the only one to have a child that's me. My auntie never married or had children, neither did my uncle, both are now deceased including my father, so nobody is going to come out of any woodwork! It's only me left.

 

Thank you for this. So it looks as if under the intestacy rules, you inherit the estate. Please don't blame the guys for trying to keep you out of trouble and following the rules, it's better safe than sorry. :)

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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People are only trying to help. Unfortunately probate isn't as simple as you think. Your aunts estate, in the absence of her Will, will pass to your dad and his siblings in equal amounts (living or not). If your dad didn't leave a Will and predeceased his wife, your aunts estate would pass to dads widow (living or not). If his widow left a Will, aunts estate will pass to whom ever dads widow left everything to. If dads widow wasn't your mum, then things are even more complicated.

 

If your dads siblings left Wills, then the same applies. They could have left their estate to a neighbour which means that your dads siblings share on your aunts estate would form part of the neighbours estate. See what I mean, there's so many different scenarios I could explain with regards probate. Its not just the case, I'm the next of kin so the estates mine.

 

I

 

 

Right I don't know how many times I've got to keep repeating this as people obviously don't read the full thread, I am her only living relative. My Nan and grandfather had 3 children, my father was the only one to have a child that's me. My auntie never married or had children, neither did my uncle, both are now deceased including my father, so nobody is going to come out of any woodwork! It's only me left.
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The intestacy rules are based on blood ties only and if you are dead the legacy automatically passes to your children, not as in your will. So even if OPs parents had left all their estates to the cats' home the OP will still be entitled to the aunt's estate by virtue of his blood ties to her.

 

Your problem is that you have no legal authority to take her money until probate is granted. (I think it's free for small estates.) Unlike an executor , who takes his authority from a valid will, an administrator of a person who has died intestate has no power to act until probate is granted. As it seems certain her estate will be greater than her liabilities you should administer the estate by applying for probate. Any moneys owing should not be paid until then, any creditors who put pressure on you for a quick settlement can be told to wait until the estate is settled. This can take as long as you want it to , but generally less than a year from death.

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For estates under £5,000, there is no fee payable for probate applications. For the sake of filling out a couple of fairly simple forms, it is worth the time if only for the protection it affords. Many institutions will refuse to talk to the OP without the appropriate Letters of Authority.

 

There will most likely be debts owing from the estate: DWP is the most likely, and will want to claw back any pension overpayments. If anything is due, it is likely to be a nominal amount (£100-200).

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Close the thread ?

 

It appears the OP has decided on course of action needed and further posts may just be more of an annoyance.

We could do with some help from you.

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No, no, no. Read my post again. I've done this, worn the teeshirt and dealt with these matters on a professional basis for a well reputed legal firm.i v had people phone me arguing what you've just argued. Unfortunately theirs and your argument had no legal basis.

 

 

 

 

i

 

 

The intestacy rules are based on blood ties only and if you are dead the legacy automatically passes to your children, not as in your will. So even if OPs parents had left all their estates to the cats' home the OP will still be entitled to the aunt's estate by virtue of his blood ties to her.

 

Your problem is that you have no legal authority to take her money until probate is granted. (I think it's free for small estates.) Unlike an executor , who takes his authority from a valid will, an administrator of a person who has died intestate has no power to act until probate is granted. As it seems certain her estate will be greater than her liabilities you should administer the estate by applying for probate. Any moneys owing should not be paid until then, any creditors who put pressure on you for a quick settlement can be told to wait until the estate is settled. This can take as long as you want it to , but generally less than a year from death.

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Yes your right, but this might later bite the OP on the [email protected] I've seen people argue over £20.

 

 

 

 

Close the thread ?

 

It appears the OP has decided on course of action needed and further posts may just be more of an annoyance.

Edited by citizenB
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Close the thread ?

 

It appears the OP has decided on course of action needed and further posts may just be more of an annoyance.

 

For now, I'm disinclined to close the thread: OP may well have made up his or her mind, but the ongoing discussion could be useful to other posters who might find themselves in the same (or similar) situations.

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Dont forget her funeral expenses will have to come out if her estate as well.

 

Post #12 - Funeral was pre-paid.

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