You and the Law – 25th October 2011

Step-sister’s slice

The father of my two children remarried and had a third child, whom he’s had no contact with since she was a baby.  What would happen if the father died without making a will?  My children think their step-sister shouldn’t have a share of his estate, but if this girl was ever found would she have a claim?  HM

Yes.  All children have an equal claim on their parent’s estate if they don’t make a will.  If the father died intestate (without leaving a will), his personal representative would have a duty to track down the missing daughter and make sure she got her share.  If no attempt was made to trace her she would have a potential claim against the personal representative.

Smoothing over the facts

I had a very bad fall two years ago and was taken to hospital with concussion, a fractured cheek bone and knee damage.  The grating and hole in the pavement where I fell was subsequently blocked over, but the council states this was done before, rather than after, I fell and as a result rejected my claim.  I still get severe pain and headaches.  I understand there is a group who will put your case in court: can you tell me about this?  SL

There’s no group dedicated to helping the victims of accidents as such, but most solicitors specialising in personal injury cases will be able to offer a free consultation to determine whether your claim has any chance of success, and will for instance be able to check the date when the hole you fell down was repaired.  Anyone intending to make such a claim needs the help of such a solicitor.  You only have three years in which to file the court papers, so I suggest you make an appointment urgently.

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