Claiming against an indemnity given to a third party

The father of one of our clients has recently passed away, we have been assisting in the administration of the estate. Probate has been granted and during the process of calling in the estate we have discovered that his former employer paid a substantial sum (£9900) to the father’s ‘partner’ in lieu of unpaid wages.

The partner signed an indemnity with the employer stating that she was the lawful personal representative of the estate, she wasn’t, his daughter is entitled to apply under the intestacy rules. She also signed to the effect that she was entitled to the pay out (she wasn’t).

We have pointed this out to the employer and asked them to make good the funds due to the estate. The employer has said we need to claim the money back from the partner. Our position is that it is in effect their problem as she indemnified them not the estate.

Given that we have already taken action to evict the partner from the deceased’s home, and that the family knows that the money has long since been spent, and that she is unlikely to have any money it seems unlikely that either party the estate nor the employer will ever see a penny back.

We are correct that the money is owed by the employer back to the estate and it is for them to make a claim not us. Aren’t we?

Just as a extra piece of information the employer’s pension trustees chose to pay the death in service benefits to the daughter entirely.