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When and how will I be told when my "father" dies?

(17 Posts)
DocBrown Wed 10-Oct-12 14:26:09

Have not spoken/seen or corresponded with him in over twenty years. Just wondering whether someday someone will knock on my door and tell me (if he has not re-married I would be next of kin) or will I find out via a newspaper announcement. I do not know any of his friends so would not find out that way. To be honest it would not take much to find me - still have same surname and we live less than ten miles apart.

Started thinking about it when my DS (8) asked why do I not call DM's partner Dad. Had to explain that he was not my real father but someone who has cared for and has acted like my father for as long as I care to remember. My DC have never known anyone other than my DM's partner (for which I am grateful). I guess it has opened up a can of worms regarding family tree and memories that had been buried along time a go. It got me thinking about how will I know if he has gone. He is an alcoholic, there is no love lost between us.

I know this sounds harsh but any "fatherly" love I had for him died along time ago and it would be a case of putting the past to rest. BTW I am not asking incase there is a chance of some inheritance - it is truly of no interest to me.

So that's it really - how do you find out if a close family member has died if you have had no contact with them for so long?

ThatBintAgain Wed 10-Oct-12 14:30:19

Hmmm. I suppose, if you say it wouldn't take much to find you - does that also apply to him? Is he/would he still be at the last address you had?

Failing that, if you think he might be dead, there is the BMD records you could check?

Sorry you're in this situation. It's difficult when children start asking questions to explain things to them.

DIYapprentice Wed 10-Oct-12 15:16:02

If he has no will, then if he has a sizeable estate you will probably be notified by one of the 'heir hunter' type people. If he has a will and you are mentioned in it, then you will be contacted by whoever is administering the estate (lawyer, friend, etc).

There is no guarantee that you will ever be told!

DocBrown Wed 10-Oct-12 16:48:00

I have not had an address for him since he left the family home over twenty years ago (but know which town he went to) so I guess if he wanted me to know he would make sure it was in the will so I would be informed.

Even though I have not thought about him in a long time it seems weird that I would not necessarily know when my biological parent has passed away.

On the upside DS2 (5) has asked if he can now call DM's partner Grandad - I have never seen a man look so happy smile

Wingedharpy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:51:22

Does it matter if you don't care about him anyway?

mintsauceandgravy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:56:34

Winged it matters because a part of you will always wonder "what if it had been different".

Hes OP's dad at the end of the day, whether or not theres contact.

I have not seen or spoken to my father in over 10 years and althought I want no contact, there are a thousand questions I have unanswered and I often wonder if Id ever be told if he died.

mintsauceandgravy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:58:40

I suppose there is no closure until you know he has died. thats how I feel anyway.

TheProvincialLady Wed 10-Oct-12 17:07:47

Does he have any other family at all? I am in a similar-ish position with my own father and when the time comes I expect someone will tell me. It will be a strange time.

Otherwise, you might not hear at all. Lots of people die estranged from their families and unless they can easily be tracked down, or there is a large inheritance to be claimed, that is the end of it.

There are online records for people who have died in 2006 or before, so if you would like me to find out for you whether he is amongst them just PM me. Mine is definitely still going. These alcoholics just keep going somehow.

mintsauceandgravy Wed 10-Oct-12 17:16:31

Dont they just Prov

SageMist Wed 10-Oct-12 19:09:32

My DH has been estranged from his father for over 30 years. DH is the oldest child and has had very periodic contact with the next oldest child.

However I found out about DH's father's death purely accidentally, looking for something else, by coming across an announcement in an online article published by a London paper 3 years previously.

It was a pretty awful thing telling DH about what I had found. As it happens he was not remotely bothered.

Not sure why I'm posting this really, except to say that like my DH, you may never be told your father has died. You may have to ask, or like him, find out completely accidentally.

DocBrown Wed 10-Oct-12 20:10:55

In a funny kind of way it does matter - like Mintsauce said it is closure on that chapter. I have no feelings for him whatsoever but I think when the time comes I will want to know.

In my head I have a lot of questions to ask him but I know that I do not want any sort of contact with him. My DM has blanked out all of those years (DV) and it is hard to bring up the subject with her.

I have a DSis and we have spoken about the past and our recollection of that time and we have pieced together quite a lot. When he passes there will be absolutely no chance of finding out the answers to my questions to fill in the gaps. Saying that, he usually was so completely out of it, I am not sure if he would be able to help with that anyway. I hate going back to the town in which I grew up as people say "aren't you so and so s daughter?" "how is ???? these days?" - it is very hard to say I don't know, I have not seen him in 20 odd years - I do not know if he is alive or dead.

I presume I will hear on the grapevine when the time comes but in the meantime keep talking to my Dsis.

notbloodybranston Wed 10-Oct-12 20:36:09

Weird offer - but I have births, deaths and marriages up until 2005 on my ancestry account. If you ever want to check just PM me. I think that they release another year at a time i.e. next year I'll have up until 2006.

longjane Wed 10-Oct-12 20:46:52

there is a web site
when you google a name this site come up with a list a names and places these come the electoral roll and few other places
you have pay to see address
it sort of starts at around 2000 and if stops you know some thing may of happen to them
dont bank at being told in time to go to funeral.

Graciescotland Wed 10-Oct-12 20:57:34

I'm in a fairly similar position, not seen my father since I was 5. It was odd explaining to the registratar ( at Births/ death/ marriage) when I was getting married that I had no idea if he was still alive. She did a check and no death certificate. It did make me wonder if I should reach out but decided not to in the end.

I imagine I'll find out when doing some paperwork. I wouldn't want to attend the funeral, he has a large family and it'd be rubbish to meet them under those circumstances/ listen to everyone doing the great guy chat.

KatieScarlett2833 Wed 10-Oct-12 20:59:42

I found out via the newspaper.

Was a bit odd but got over it.

RockinD Wed 10-Oct-12 21:09:53

My mother has refused to have any contact with me for the last 24 years. However, I do know that she has made a will with a particular firm of solicitors. As there is no-one else to tell me if she dies, I have written to the solicitors explaining the situation and asked them if they will notify me if she dies, whether or not she leaves me anything.

mumsbum Wed 10-Oct-12 21:12:35

my husbands children will find out if someone bothers to tell them, they certainly wont find out from anyone who cares about or loves my husband

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