Defining Next of Kin
“Next of kin” refers to a person’s nearest relatives. In the eyes of the law, a next of kin may be an adult child, a civil partner, a surviving spouse, or, in some circumstances, even close friends. The definition may change depending on the case, family law, and legal counsel.
Family members frequently worry about their obligations when a loved one needs care. Realising that being a next of kin does not automatically make you liable for care facility costs is critical. However, there are some circumstances where the next of kin may need to intervene.
In the UK, an individual’s estate is used to pay off any outstanding debts when they pass away. This covers any care facility fees. If the person’s assets, such as their property, are insufficient to pay these fees, the local authority can help.
Legal Obligations of Next of Kin
Regarding legal obligations, paying for a care facility is not always the next of kin’s responsibility.
Since assets do not secure these fees, they are considered unsecured debt. The local council typically seeks payment from the deceased person’s estate if the person receiving care passes away.
The family court may occasionally become involved, mainly if there is a disagreement regarding the estate or care costs. Always seek legal counsel to comprehend your rights and obligations fully.
Legally, relatives are not required to foot the bill for the deceased’s care or funeral costs out of their own pockets. These expenses are regarded as a debt of the estate, not the surviving family members, if the decedent’s estate cannot pay them.