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Finding Financial Affairs On Death Of A Partner

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VenalWinfrey | 12:53 Mon 11th Feb 2013 | Family & Relationships
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Dear all

My neighbour recently died. She was 88. She is survived by a 'common law' partner, but it appears she left no will behind.

I understand, having already taken some advice on this, that the surviving partner has no automatic legal right to anything she's left behind (as they were not legally married/partnered); however he would still like to know if indeed she left anything behind.

Does anyone know of any service that can be requested, that basically would take the deceased's details (i.e. name, address, NI number, date of birth etc.) and be able to come back and say what accounts were active?

The surviving individual basically has little idea of how her finances were kept. I have already explained to him that, should anything exist, he may not see any of it, given their circumstances. What I am just trying to prevent is nothing happening, and the state/banks in question eventually subsuming everything, over time.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

p.s. I am trying to speak with our local Citizens' Advice Bureau, but unfortunately it seems impossible to actually get through to their advice line.


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Sadly he has few rights.

Unless married or in a civil partnership, what happens to property and assets after the death of one partner will be determined by intestacy rules if they did not make a Will. These rules mean that the partner will be entitled to nothing from the deceased’s estate – their possessions and property will automatically pass to their next of kin (excepting situations where they have had the foresight to create a joint tenancy as detailed above). Depending on circumstances, this could be a less than desirable outcome – if no appropriate family can be found, the estate will even pass to the government over the surviving partner.

An unmarried partner to a deceased person will also not be able to apply to administer the estate of the deceased, due to not being a relative.

There is legal recourse for the partner, but he should still establish if there is a next of kin and speak with that person. They may be sympathetic if they knew the couple.

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