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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 34121
Experience:  family solictor with 25 years experience
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My cousin is an illegitimate child, fathered by a British

Customer Question

Good Morning,
my cousin is an illegitimate child, fathered by a British officer in Germany in 1946. She never knew him and he probably never knew he had this daughter. She now wants to get to know the family. Since little is known, the search is tricky and we depend on private individuals for help. These people are concerned she might be trying to make an inheritance claim from his estate/his heirs and would not want to cause trouble. My question: is there a source that clearly states that she cannot have a claim? If not, is there a way to make a binding declaration before a notary or else that she will not pursue a possible claim? She does not want worldly goods from a man probably long deceased. She only wants to know her roots.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for your question

My name is Clare and I shall do my best to help you

If her father is still alive and has not made a WILL then your cousin would in fact have a claim on his Estate - but if he has already died, or has made a Will then she will not be able to make any Claim.

If the people she needs help form will be reassured then she can indeed sign a Declaration confirming that she has no wish to pursue a claim

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your immediate response. However, my question really is to find a "quotable"source/reference which makes clear that there cannot be a claim if the father has already passed away. Also, what form any such "binding and irrevocable" declaration wold have to have. Can it be made before a foreign notary/oathtaker?Many thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Just to check - has she ever been adopted?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, she has not. As I say, the gentleman in question probably never knew he had a daughter. In the meantime we have found an individual in the lection register who could be a match and might still be alive (age 99). All the more relevant my question re "a declaration" becomes as almost a pre-requisite also for possibly approaching the family and not causing alarm there.....
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Actually it is unlikely that this would be an immediate concern of the family.

You can read confirmation that your friend would not be able to make a belated claim on his estate here

(See time limits half way down)

With regard to the Declaration there is no set wording frankly it is just a promise and accordingly unlikely to be enforceable in the event that there is no Will.

However if your friend wishes to use it as a sign of good faith it shoudl use the words

"I irrevocably undertake and confirm that I will make no claim on the estate of my biological father and in the event that I do any such funds received will be returned to the pther family members based on this contract" It would be best made before a foreign notary.