Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

How are finances distributed if someone dies without leaving a will?

(10 Posts)
salsmum Thu 07-Nov-13 00:36:04

My DS and DB are estranged from me (long story) My Mother passed away this week without leaving a will (whenever I approached the subject I was told not to be morbid!) I am trying to keep things civilised whilst having to deal with Mums affairs with my DS and DB. My DS had taken over my Mums financial affairs since Mum went into a nursing home with Dementia ( I don't think she legally applied for POE) but she is the eldest. Mum always paid into 1 or 2 life insurances.My Mum did not own her own home. My DB AND DS are quite comfortably well off and I am struggling as a home carer at the moment since having to give up my job because my DD care needs have increased sad My sister mentioned tonight (while clearing Mums room) that the 'insurance' not insurances will pay enough for the funeral (not an elaborate affair) and maybe a meal afterwards shock I've got a funny feeling that the insurance/s will pay quite a bit more and instead of it going between 5 of us siblings it will only go between my DB and DS. Is there any way to confirm if what my DS is saying concerning Mums finances is true?...or can anyone advise? I know Mum would want to treat us all the same but because of the rift between myself and my DS and DB and the way they have acted in the past I know they can be spiteful.

mynewpassion Thu 07-Nov-13 04:32:18

I'm no legal expert but usually the policy holder will designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries on the policy. That money goes to the person(s) to do what they want.

Your mother's home, cash, and other assets should be divided among the five of you after debts are paid.

mynewpassion Thu 07-Nov-13 04:36:43

Oops, missed the part about not owning her home. So if its just the insurance money as her main asset, then it will be up to the beneficiaries if they want to share since she didn't leave any instructions.

I might be wrong but that's my understanding.

RedHelenB Thu 07-Nov-13 07:14:21

At her age i would be surprised if any insurances would be huge amounts of money so it is possible that your sister is correct. I know elderly relatives who have cancelled policies cos they need the money now, not much use to them when they are gone.

Kafri Thu 07-Nov-13 22:03:44

I've recently sorted my mums affairs after she passed away earlier this year. There was no will.

I had to apply for probate and had to send a copy of this to all banks etc where she had accounts.

On the probate docs it asks who the beneficiaries are. I had to list my siblings. The forms do go into detail about surviving and deceased family to establish who the beneficiaries are so unless DSis going to lie on these forms you should be ok???

Being the eldest is irrelevant now, all children are equal (I'm the youngest and I was just left to sort everything out for mum)

salsmum Fri 08-Nov-13 02:29:04

Is it compulsory that you have to apply for probate if there's no will though Kafri? because if its not I know my DS will not bother hmm.

VestaCurry Fri 08-Nov-13 03:07:07

As your Mum died intestate, what has to be applied for to sort out what there is to inherit are 'letters of administration' not probate, and the person dealing with it is called the 'administrator' rather than an executor. Your DS is not following the legal process if she just tries to handle your mother's affairs how she wants! Whatever she did could then be challenged (by you, or other siblings for instance).
Policies that might seem to have little value can end up yielding a surprising amount of money. When my father died (without leaving a will), my sister found a pension policy tucked away that Dad had completely forgotten about and had stopped paying into 18 years before he died. We took it to a pensions adviser (got 30 mins free advice) and he said it was worth a few thousand pounds. We asked for his help to sort it out, for which he said he'd charge us £220. The policy was worth £35k, which was shared between me and my sister.
Personally, I find it highly suspicious that your sister is talking about sharing what she states are limited monies between herself and your brother. That is not lawful.
If you ask Mumsnet to move this into their legal section, you should find some solicitors will come along who know a lot more about all this. But the bottom line is your sister simply cannot deal with your mother's affairs how SHE wants to. She (or you or any other sibling who want to handle it) need to follow the law.

Kafri Fri 08-Nov-13 07:25:39

I went into the whole process completely blind. I've never had to even think about looking into sorting anything like this out and my mum died suddenly so I just found myself having to work my way through.

I called her banks and every single one said I needed to apply for probate before they could proceed. I spoke to my DB and DSis who said they were happy for it to be just my name on the probate app (we could have had all 3 of us on there) so I was sole administrator.

I did the application myself rather than go to a solicitor. It was pretty straight forward for my circumstances so I was manage by myself. I just had to go to a solicitor so swear on oath.

Very few companies would speak to me until I had probate - esp the life insurance and mtg company.

salsmum Fri 08-Nov-13 09:56:23

This was on the citizens 'advice guide'site; Some banks and building societies will release quite large amounts without the need for probate or letters of administration. Also some banks and building societies money will release money needed to pay for a funeral, probate fees and inheritance tax but nothing else until you have been granted probate or letters of administration. {confused] x

DowntonTrout Fri 08-Nov-13 10:06:39

I might be wrong but it's possible your mum had an insurance policy for her funeral expenses and this may be what your sister is referring to.

No one should be dealing with anything other than that yet as everything is stopped when someone dies. Probate or administration takes a while to sort out but the type of policy I'm referring to would be paid on production of the death certificate. Dad had one of these and it was indeed paid within days to cover his funeral expenses.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now