next of kin

i am new to answerbank so i hope i have have picked the right to place to ask this so here goes. before i consult a solicitor i hope you can help, my brother died a while ago and as our family really dont get on, i hadnt had anything to do with him for years so was not consulted about his personal items, which i would not have wanted or indeed his funeral wishes, it has now come to light that a sister has claimed everything he had because he had named her as his next of kin, so there apparently was no will left and because she alone was named as the next of kin she took everything and hasnt told any of the rest of us, so my question is can this have happened legally without a will, he did apparently have one child which would be grown up now but think this was in america and as far as i know this child has never been in touch with him or even knew about him, thank you
13:01 Mon 28th Nov 2011
 
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It can't have happened legally - the child in America inherits everything in the absence of a will

If he hadn't existed then brothers and sisters inherit.

You sister has either lied to the Probate authorities when obtaining Letters of Administration or has just appropriated the estate either dishonestly or believing it was genuinely hers

Unless the estate was of substantial value, I'd forget about it. It will cost you more in legal fees than you will gain
IWas your brother a UK zitzen and did he die here?
'm not sure in what context he could have named her as 'next of kin'. And I'm not aware that 'next of kin' carries any status/priveleges in law.

How much roughly was the estate worth?
If it's tens of thousand then you need to see a solicitor. If it was less than a thousand then maybe you should just write to the sister and ask her to give you your share
Question Author
thanks alot for your answer, as i said we know nothing of this supposed child in america, so basically in a nutshell are you saying that although she was named the next of kin (dont know where she was named or how she found this out) that the others should have received a share legally if there was not a child
Question Author
sorry factor 30 your question came up as i answered the other, yes uk citizen and as i said dont know how she knows she was next of kin or how much was involved
Are you certain there was no will leaving everything to the sister?
If there was definitely no will, if you search on google for Rules of Intestacy it will set out the rules concerning entitlement
She might have known she was named as next of kin if your brother ever had any medical treatment.
Question Author
definately no will and as he had been in the forces maybe thats how she knew she was next of kin, maybe i should be checking things out with probate office(if there is such a thing) for the county where he died, many thanks all
"as he had been in the forces maybe thats how she knew she was next of kin, "
Sorry, I don't understand that- unless you are saying as you and the son weren't around she looked after him or was named on medical docs.
Anyway, considering oneself to be 'neyt of kin' confers no legal rights regarding a will a sfar a sI know. If there is no will the laws of testacy apply.
She must have gone through probate (unless the estate was very small) so check with them.
Was there a property involved? Did she live there with him?
Question Author
yes you folks are right that being named as someones next of kin does not automatically mean you are entitled to anything, basically anyone can be anyones next of kin, they dont have to be related, he died suddenly at 55 and no she did not live with him, infact they lived at opposite ends of the country, so my next step is to try and obtain a copy of his will (if he made one) and i can do that online for a small charge, so still a mystery as to how she believes she was his next of kin, but i will ( sorry no pun intended) get to the bottom of it but thanks all
I know that Scottish law is different from English, but I don't think the sister had any right to claim everything whether she was named as next of kin or not. I would think any solicitor would attempt to trace the child who would be his heir, or, failing that, ensure that the estate is divided between his remaining siblings.
As I found out when my father died, the law is there to protect such things happening and can overturn anything your brother may have said. Maybe seeking advice would be your best bet.
^"so still a mystery as to how she believes she was his next of kin"

I think you should forget about the issue of being 'next of kin'- it's a red- herring.

I'm a bit puzzled now as you said there was definitely no will but now you are going to pay for an online will search.
If it went to probate teh will should be accessible I think at the probate office. If the will was lodged witha solicitor it may be on a central register but I'm not aware that they all have to be registered.
If the will was simply kept at home and your sister was the executor and beneficiary then the probate office may have a copy.
Or your sister may have destroyed the will if she didn't like the provsions in it- but without a will or probate I don't see how she got access to bank accounts etc
Low value bank accounts (up to £5K? but don't quote me on that) can be accessed by producing a death certificate and signing a form certifying that you are entitled to the money. The sister may have done this - possibly even in all innocence if she misunderstood what being next of kin means.
Question Author
thanks all am still looking into things so wish me luck and once again i appreciate all the help
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