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Bereavement

Not sure what to do

(55 Posts)
NannieN Wed 31-Mar-21 12:35:49

Not really bereaved but unsure where else to put this post.
I have just been contacted by an estate finding company to locate next of kin for a gentleman who passed away in a care home. It turns out this person is my father and I'm his next of kin. My mum and dad seperated when I was one and my mum and I moved away to another town. The only other time I have seen him was when he signed papers to change my surname as mum had got married again. I wasn't told he was my father until after he had left. Over the years have thought about finding but as I got older and had children of my own I couldn't cope with
the thought he might not want to know them. So never did anything about it. Now I have been advised he has passed away in a care home and the local council are awaiting funeral instructions from the next of kin. They are all set to do the funeral themselves or I can make my own arrangements. Which is my dilemma. In all intents and purposes this gentleman is a stranger to me. I wouldn't know what to arrange for him. I also think nobody deserves to not have a funeral with nobody there. What would you do in these circumstances xx

Whiff Wed 31-Mar-21 12:50:06

Is your mom still alive? If so talk to her.

Smileless2012 Wed 31-Mar-21 12:54:51

Could you ask the local council to make the arrangements and attend the funeral?

vampirequeen Wed 31-Mar-21 19:33:39

Let the council do the funeral. It will be done with respect just as for anyone else. Why take on the financial responsibility for someone you didn't know?

Tangerine Wed 31-Mar-21 19:37:03

I agree with the above posters. Let the Council organise it.

I daresay you can attend if you wish to do so. I certainly don't think you should take financial responsibility for the funeral.

M0nica Wed 31-Mar-21 20:05:15

I agree with the others. Do not take on the financial responsibility, but perhaps attend the funeral if you can as a way of drawing a line under your very tenuous relationship with your father.

NannieN Wed 31-Mar-21 20:14:38

Thank you. Its good to know that people think it is OK to let the council go ahead and make the funeral arrangements xx

Jess20 Thu 01-Apr-21 10:41:08

Is this an attempt to get you to pay for his funeral when here are no funds in his estate?

HurdyGurdy Thu 01-Apr-21 10:43:15

Won't the cost of the funeral be met from his estate? So not your personal financial "burden" but will come from whatever you inherit from the estate?

Juicylucy Thu 01-Apr-21 10:46:26

Tough one, but if it was me I would take over the arrangements as it would be my final at peace moment and even tho he didn’t want me in his life it would be my chance to say a final goodbye and do something for him. I’m bit of a softie but I know I’d have regrets if I didn’t do something for him.

greenlady102 Thu 01-Apr-21 10:47:43

Jess20

Is this an attempt to get you to pay for his funeral when here are no funds in his estate?

yes, I am afraid councils will do this when there is no money in the estate and they are looking for someone to pay. Sad but true. They may also say that unless you pay you can't attend. My strong advice is to declare zero interest or obligation to the council because funerals are not cheap

Alioop Thu 01-Apr-21 10:51:55

Let the council take care of it as funerals are so expensive and it's not fair that you should pay for someone who is a stranger to you.

grannygranby Thu 01-Apr-21 10:52:27

He named you as next of kin. I would step up. If you don’t have the funds then appeal for help. You must both Rest In Peace.

Annaram1 Thu 01-Apr-21 10:54:46

I would let the council deal with it.
However you may inherit money from his estate if there is any, so perhaps you should attend his funeral. Care home fees are expensive, so there may not be any money of course.

BelindaB Thu 01-Apr-21 10:57:39

Isn't there anyone you can contact to give you more info? How did they come to you in the first place? Are you recorded somewhere as NOK? I agree that this could well be a ploy by the council to avoid footing the bill but even if they do go ahead and you can't attend - will that matter? It certainly won't to him and it shouldn't to you, either.

At the very least, you should be able to ask if there funds to pay for it in his name.

I have left very firm instructions that there is to be no funeral for me! This has just underlined that thought.

I wish you well, whatever your decision.

olddudders Thu 01-Apr-21 10:59:22

It doesn't make him a bad man, but he chose not to keep contact with his daughter, for reasons you may never know. You have made a life for yourself, apparently free of any resentment about that - good for you. He means no more to you than any other deceased person - leave it that way.

cc Thu 01-Apr-21 11:03:02

Alioop

Let the council take care of it as funerals are so expensive and it's not fair that you should pay for someone who is a stranger to you.

I agree with this. If there is any money in his estate this will obviously be used to pay for his funeral, rather than the council paying. If there is anything left over it should come to you unless he has left a will stating otherwise.
Apologies if any of this is wrong, I've not had time to read everything.

4allweknow Thu 01-Apr-21 11:17:30

Leave it to the Council.

GrauntyHelen Thu 01-Apr-21 11:18:44

This is about the council not footing the bill Have nothing to do with it this man had nothing to do with you when he lived he's not your responsibility now

icanhandthemback Thu 01-Apr-21 11:35:37

An estate finding company normally want you to sign a document which gives them 25% of the estate plus 20% VAT. If they aren't asking that, I suspect that there is no money in the estate and somebody wants the funeral bill settled. Perhaps you should ask who instructed them to act. Sometimes it is the Crown's Solicitor who obliged to at least try to find the NOK.

silverlining48 Thu 01-Apr-21 11:40:37

This must have been a bit of a shock after so long. I would be curious and inclined to make further enquiries from the agency who made first contact as well as speak the council /care home involved but would not pay for the funeral. I would consider attending though as a means of closure.
My mother was in your situation, never knew her father, he lived in the same small town but made no attempt to meet her then war got in the way. They never met and she often thought him and wondered why.
Do what you feel comfortable with. Maybe talk to your family.

donna1964 Thu 01-Apr-21 11:45:29

Hang on a minute... alot on here are saying dont have nothing to do with this mans Funeral etc! None of us know what happened for him not to play a part in the posters life?
Maybe he was pushed out by the Posters Mother when she married again? Ther Mother moved on and so she believed her Child should have done so to. No one knows that side of the story!!
It sounds to me that the Man could have an Estate because an Estate finding Company is involved. Only the Poster knows the full story and I would hope she has been told the truth of why her Father did not play a part in her life...He did not forget her to put her as his next of kin... if he could not of cared he would say he had no next of kin!
I would be inclined to take part in the burial and lay him to rest.

Sparky56 Thu 01-Apr-21 11:47:02

Also bear in mind they don’t pursue cases unless there’s a substantial amount involved which makes it profitable for them. As per Heirhunters on tv,

SooozedaFlooze Thu 01-Apr-21 11:55:41

Just so you know, if the council do the funeral the ashes etc will remain their property.

Aepgirl Thu 01-Apr-21 12:37:46

Why not contact the care home where he lived. They would know if he was self-funding or if the Council paid for him. If he was self-funding then any funeral costs would be taken from his estate.