He lied on the death certificate - up to something?
Justilou1 · 17/05/2021 12:10
I’m writing on behalf of a friend. She lives in England but neither of us are English. (Culturally not dissimilar, but some things are different...) She has been looking after her elderly great Aunt for over ten years while also working FT, but mostly as a companion until very recently, when this old lady’s health declined.... When she was working, she had district nurses visiting and Blue Birds (?) twice a day, so the lady’s cares we’re met and she wasn’t lonely. She sat with her at the hospital and held her hand for three days while she died. When she returned to the house (11:30pm!!) this lady’s nephew was there, saying that he was the executor of the estate, and he took everything from the filing cabinet and her handbag. He also tested his keys in the door locks. My friend thought to call the lady’s lawyer the next morning to advise that she had passed, only to discover that this man was NOT the executor, but SHE was... the lawyer contacted the man and advised that he had to return all the paperwork. He spent all week closing accounts (not sure he can do that, though - not that it matters if he doesn’t touch them, I suppose... unless he appoints himself a signatory or something, I guess...) AND when the death certificate arrived, he signed it to say that he was with her at the time she died!!! WHY??? (*Also, he is supposed to be massively involved in some happy clappy church, too - pretty sure lying is not okay.) What the hell is he playing at?
He hadnt seen this old lady for three or more years, btw.
Seeline · 17/05/2021 12:15
I think I would report to the police - surely that is a criminal offence to lie on a legal form like that. The hospital should be able to confirm that it was just you with your aunt.
I would definitely have a conversation with the solicitor about it. THe nephew is up to no good.
BeenHereForAges · 17/05/2021 12:17
That does sound very dodgy. Is he her next of kin?
I'd suggest he was putting himself on the death cert to give the impression he was there for her in her life and deserved some of her estate.
Hopefully lots of clever lawyer people will be along to advise, I'd be getting that certificate corrected for a start.
crosspelican · 17/05/2021 12:18
Obviously he thinks that your friend is set to take all the old lady's money and wanted to see if he could get in there first, especially if there was a chance of no will. Was she living with her?
The solicitor should be able to keep track of everything, and if he didn't withdraw any money, then it should all be okay. The death cert thing is weird - I didn't think there was a box to say you were with someone? Or that it matters, legally? Again, the solicitor should be able to advise.
I would expect the will to be challenged if it turns out the old lady has left everything to your friend.
HUGE cheek on his part though.
Gingernaut · 17/05/2021 12:27
Call the police and make it clear to the solicitor what's happened.
Although he is not the executor, what he's done could be seen as 'intermeddling' and may have consequences for the estate administration.
bunburyscucumbersandwich · 17/05/2021 12:38
So it's her uncle? I would definitely contact the police for advice. It seems like some sort of fraud is going on.
Contact the GRO to have the changes made to the death certificate www.gov.uk/correcting-a-death-registration/how-to-apply
Lovethewater · 17/05/2021 12:45
When my mum died I was surprised that a number of accounts were immediately paid out to me purely on receipt of the death certificate and me stating I was next of kin (which I was), however no proof of this required. All had their own thresholds for requiring grant of probate, copy of will etc but this was between £20k and £50k so I would not assume that the nephew has not been able to do anything. If he has 'closed' the accounts rather than them being frozen, then I would be very concerned that he already has the money. Your friend definitely needs to contact solicitor, police, registrar and banks ASAP.
Ostara212 · 17/05/2021 12:45
I'm not sure you have the whole story here
Unless Covid has changed things, in England you'll get a medical certificate for the cause of death, then the death has to be registered officially.
I don't think the second form asks if anyone was there.
If the first one does, the hospital fill it in and they would not write down that someone attended who they've not even heard of.
You need the correct information before you can help.
ItsAlwaysAFriendNeverMe · 17/05/2021 12:48
(Also, he is supposed to be massively involved in some happy clappy church, too - pretty sure lying is not okay.)*
Not sure what this has got to do with it. Sounds rather personal. People lie, including those who attend some "happy clappy church".
What the man has done is terrible. Still, I wonder how he had access to the accounts if he wasn't a signatory. You can't just close an account without being the account holder.
MaggieFS · 17/05/2021 12:48
I agree this sounds dodgy, but with respect to the person named on the death certificate, they are signing to say they were present, they are signing to notify of the death. However they would have had a form from the doctor/hospital giving cause of death etc. which he would have needed, so how did he get those?
Also would he reasonably have presumed to be the executor? Your friend definitely needs legal support if not the police.
Notaroadrunner · 17/05/2021 12:50
Does the death certificate specifically say he was there at the time of death? My parents don't state who was there. I registered their deaths and that is what is documented on the Cert. He probably registered the death - doesn't mean he was there at the time of death. Once he had the official paperwork signed by the attending doctor, then he could register it.
If your friend is the executor she needs to change the locks on the house and follow up with the solicitor to ensure all documents are returned. I doubt he could have closed bank accounts as only the executor can deal with that and usually after Probate has been granted. Funeral funds can be released prior to Probate. So if he has gone to the bank then they need to be informed that he had no right to access her accounts.
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