My husband recently passed away (3rd of June) He didn't have a will but I'm concerned as his daughter from his previous

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Customer: Good morning,
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: My husband recently passed away (3rd of June) He didn't have a will but I'm concerned as his daughter from his previous relationship 20 years ago is claiming she is next of kin. Can you please advise me what I need to do.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: New Zealand
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I haven't done anything yet. I was alarmed by it when I went to pay for all his funeral cost which was over $9k. I asked for his death certificate to be sent to me but they replied and said it will all be sent to his next of kin regardless if I am his legal wife.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not at this stage
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 6 hours 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

I don't understand why the funeral director thought his daughter was his next of kin, because as you are his wife, you are his next of kin ahead of her. And if you were paying the funeral director, they should have sent the document to you anyway. If you need a copy you can get another one through the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages.

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If someone dies and does not leave a will, their estate is usually wound up by their surviving spouse. So if you have to wind up his estate you are the person who would need to apply for Letters of Administration which is the document you need for estates where there is no will. You probably won't need this if he didn't own much and his bank accounts had less than $15,000

Customer
Great news. Thank you very much for the clarification.Is my next step to apply for Letter of Administration from the court?Regards
Rangimarie
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You would need to apply for letters of administration if there are substantial assets like a house or bank accounts over $15,000. Otherwise you probably don't need to apply. To apply for letters of administration I would suggest that you see a local lawyer who can help prepare the application. They are reasonably complicated documents and I wouldn't recommend you try and do this yourself if you need to

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