Author Topic: Dads passed, debts far out weigh his estate worried about mums home, any help?  (Read 813 times)


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My dad hired equipment on lease for his business in which he operated as a sold trader.

He passed away on the 14th june this year unexpectedly and had left an estate of around £1500.00.

He did have life insurance polices of which I had to apply for probate as mum and dad were not married to release the polices with the idea of paying his debts with the policy payout.

Unfortunately they both were tied to the mortgage on the home my mum and dad held as beneficial joint tenants and the debts I now cannot pay far out weigh the estate that my dad has left of £1500.

I have been informed anyone who my dad had a debt with could apply for an insolvency administration order and effectively change how my mums home is held to tenants in common and force a sale as the house now has a equity of £165,000.

The debt which I am currently dealing with is with Siemens. 

* I am unsure and would appreciate any advice on how to best respond and handle a letter they have sent to me in response to a letter I sent previous, also any advice as to if they have to accept an offer if one is made which would be minimal based on my mums circumstances or would they push for an insolvency administration order to try and recover a full amount from the house if they wanted more than could be afforded a month?

I have typed a copy of the letter I am unsure on how to handle and best respond to and a copy on my previous letter incase this has any relevance I cannot see:


My letter to siemens :

Date         16 August 2011

Ref no. xxx-xxxx & Ref no. xxx-xxxx

Hi,  I am writing to you in regards to my dads car diagnostics equipment which is here for you to collect. 

I have been trying to get some advice on several forums on the current situation with yourselves as to why you want my dad to pay a remaining £5001.18.

I cannot believe that dying is not a good enough reason to break a contract and how we can be charged for time of use which he will not be-able to ful-fill now.

If the equipment was hired, and the company (Siemens) gets the equipment back, why does the contract not end at this point?

We have sent you a death certificate and you have been sending letters still addressed to my dad with money owed after he had passed away and we are trying to grieve, my mum is in a lot of distress as it is.

Does your company not have the slightest compassionate view on our circumstances?

How do you expect me to pay ? My dads funeral has taken the best part of his assets and I am in financial hardship in the state of JSA?

I await your response.

Siemens reply to my letter:

We write with reference the above leasing agreements and in follow up to your letters of 16th August and 23rd of August respectively.

In response to your queries relating to the equipment and any remaining balance this is standard procedure, as the agreement is effectively a loan.  The contract is signed for a set period of time, the finance company then pays out the full amount for the equipment, its then paid back to the finance company by the hirer.  As per your request please find attached copies of the leasing agreements and the terms and conditions attached to those agreements.

With regards to the equipment should the business no longer be trading and thus the equipment no longer required collection would be arranged.

Please provide contact details for the executor or the solicitor assisting in order for us to discuss the way forward.


Thanks kd1

James Falla

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Hi there KD1
Generally speaking if somebody dies, then any debts that they owe over and above the value of their estate die with them. I do not believe that a third party can then become responsible for these debts unless they too have given personal guarantees. As such, any beneficial interest your Mum has in a jointly owned property would be hers. However, if the property is jointly owned, then your Father's interest does form part of his estate. As such, the probate lawyer would have to realise this to pay off debt that his estate owes. Clearly if this were to happen the lawyer would look to your Mother to offer a settlement to avoid the sale of the property....
Debt Expert & Author