Hi, My wife gradually became friends with an elderly man in our town. The man was 80 when she met him, and over time she used to visit him in his house as he became less mobile. Over the years they developed into a close bond. The man has no family. I believe his mother died in 1972 and he has been alone since then. Over the last 15 years she has done a lot for him. Visiting him, making his meals, shopping, washing etc. My wife is a genuine person and was not doing any of this for any gain. As the years went by she has gone above-and-beyond. She used to find him lying on the floor after falling during the night, and she would wash him and get medical help. She had improvements made to his (council) housing. She got extra home help arranged. She was a good friend. Eventually he had too many falls and the health services wanted him put into a home. With no family my wife was put down as next of kin. She managed to get him into a local home. During all this time, she has had official authority to manage his money. She has records for every penny she spent. She is acting as next-of-kin for the home and hospitals etc but I do not believe this has been done through any legal method. There was no solicitor involved. Sadly, the man died recently. She organised the funeral and all the logistics around the nursing home. She has lost access to his bank account but arrangements have been made to pay the funeral home. In the 15 years we have known him there has never been any family member on the scene, and there is no will that we know of (I am 99.99% sure he would not have a will) so I am wondering what to do with the funds in his account. There would be a reasonable amount. My wife will under no circumstances make any approaches that would make it seem like she wants what is there. However, I would like to better understand the situation in case it is plain that she is able to get it. - If he died intestate it goes to next of kin. My wife has been acting as next of kin. Is this enough or does it need to be 'legal'? - If she is 'next of kin' does there still need to be a search for distant blood relatives? - Who kicks off the Grant of Administration/Next of Kin search? Can anybody who thinks they might be related do it? Is it up to us? In the past he has said to her verbally that she can have his money but he would not have been aware of how much was in his account etc and obviously that has no legal standing. I just would like my wife to be able to get it if all is above board as he would have had no problem with her having it, and she would put it to good use. If we do nothing, and nobody else comes forward, then after 15 years it goes to the state. We don't really have a problem with this as he has lived off the state for a long time. If we kick off something, then somebody might be found and they will get it.... or nobody will be found and then does she get it, or what would she have to do? She is the type that will probably do nothing even if there is a chance she can get it, but I would just like to understand what is what a bit better. I could go to a solicitor but even that makes her feel uncomfortable about it! Thanks.