You and the Law – 7th December 2010

Family outcast

My mother died four months ago.  She wanted to be buried, but this wasn’t
possible and she was cremated.  However, I want to bury her ashes but my
brothers say it’s nothing to do with me.  They also say I’ve no right to see
a copy of the Will.  ST

Although your mother left instructions for her funeral there is no legal
obligation on the executors or next of kin to follow them.  Such arrangements are normally agreed between the deceased’s next of kin, but where there is no agreement the executors of the Will have the final say.  The same goes for the disposal of the ashes. 

I take it your brothers are the executors of the Will.  Unless you are a “residuary beneficiary”, in other words a person who stands to share what’s left once specific gifts have been paid out, you are not entitled to see the Will.  You could however obtain a copy from the probate office assuming the Estate is large enough to warrant a Grant of Probate.

Well preserved

I started work for a firm 11 years ago and thought my age would count
against me so I told them I was seven years younger than I actually am!  I’ve had to keep up the pretence all this time.  I have not joined the pension scheme or private health scheme as I would have to declare my real age. 

I will be 60 next year and although I won’t have to retire my national insurance contributions will cease and my tax code will change.  Is fibbing about your age a sackable offence?  AB

Although dishonesty can be grounds for dismissal it’s unlikely that the
untruth you told at your interview will have affected your subsequent work.
If you had claimed to have qualifications you don’t possess this may have
affected your ability to do the work asked of you, but it’s hard to imagine
circumstances where seven years’ added maturity will have prevented you
doing your job efficiently.  I would inform the personnel department as soon
as possible.

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