Home > Legal Affairs > Inheriting Property

Inheriting Property

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 22 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Property private Property inheritance

When someone dies any private property (or shares in a private property) that (s)he owned will become a part of his or her estate. This estate will be distributed according to the law either by the executor (someone named in the deceased’s will) or administrator (someone appointed by law in the event that no will was left). Depending on the type of property held and the instructions left in the will, there are many ways in which an individual could inherit property and many rights and responsibilities that come along with such an inheritance.

Ways of Inheriting Property

There are three main ways in which private property can be inherited. The first is if the deceased and the inheritor were living together in a property held as a “joint tenancy”. Upon the death, the surviving member of this agreement inherits the entire property automatically. The second common way of inheriting property is if the property was owned as a “tenancy in common”, then the inheritor will be awarded the deceased’s share in the property either as stipulated in the deceased’s will or according to the laws of intestacy/succession (in the event that no will exists). Finally, if the deceased owned the property outright then it will be inherited according to the deceased’s will or the laws of intestacy/succession (again if no will exists).

Debts and Inherited Property

Property that is inherited will usually not be released to the inheritor until all debts have been cleared from the deceased’s estate. However, it may be that outstanding debts exist and the property must be sold in order to make up these debts. If such is the case, the inheritor should be informed of these developments and should be kept informed about the process by the executor or administrator of the will. Generally if the property was held as a joint tenancy then all other avenues of paying debts will be explored before the idea of selling the property must be raised, but if it is impossible to pay these debts otherwise then selling may be the only option. Working with a solicitor will help make all details clear about specific cases.

Uses of an Inherited Property

Sometimes the properties inherited after a death are already inhabited by tenants. Whether or not this arrangement will continue is up to the new owner. However, if it does continue then the new owner becomes the landlord and must shoulder all of the responsibilities of this position as stipulated by the law. Regardless of whether the new owner is hoping to sell the property, inhabit the property him/herself or continue renting the property to others, a solicitor should be consulted to ensure that all laws are followed regarding these transactions. If a new owner does intend to move into the property, (s)he should consult a solicitor regarding the existence of any tenants, registering the property in his/her name, nominating the property as his/her main home with the Tax Office, taking on mortgage payments, paying any applicable taxes and anything else related to his/her specific situation.

Inheriting property is not usually a straightforward affair. There are many ways of inheriting property, and many more issues that must be dealt with such as taxes on the property, the property being used to pay off debts, relationships with existing tenants living in the property, tax issues surrounding the property becoming the owner’s main home, the new owner taking over the mortgage on the property and much more. If possible, the guidance of a solicitor should always be sought in case of private property inheritance.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi my cousin lived with my auntie for over 10 years, the house and everything was left to my cousin and now auntie has passed, the house is valued at 485,000 will my cousin have to pay IHT ?
Cuzz - 22-Apr-17 @ 6:59 PM
I moved into my mother's house 10 years ago to care for her.Her will leaves property to me.Property worth about £195,000.Will I need to get probate.She has no other money or property.
Buntybo - 21-Apr-17 @ 6:24 PM
patty - Your Question:
I live with my long standing partner (unmarried) we have one child (she is 24) together.He has a child from a previous marriage.We live together as a family of three ,the house has only my name on deeds.If I die will the house be automatically passed on to my daughter there is no will

Our Response:
It should do unless your partner applies to court to claim that he has made financial contributions towards the property and there is a dependent child in the relationship/property. You should make a Will if you want to make specific arrangements.
FacingBereavement - 19-Apr-17 @ 2:12 PM
I live with my long standing partner (unmarried) we have one child (she is 24) together .Hehas a child from a previous marriage .We live together as a family of three ,the house has only my name on deeds .If i die will the house be automatically passed on to my daughter there is no will
patty - 17-Apr-17 @ 12:09 PM
Vickie - Your Question:
My husband has been named to inhearate all hid dads real and personal property. His aunt D is named executor. she says there is like 13,000 debt owed for funeral and a small personal loan the home is paid for. my ? Is can she sell the house if we want to live as permenat residence. and can she keep us leagaly of property. I am trying to get up the money owed if and when I do can I pay debt and it all be done to finish he passed in Nov. 2016.

Our Response:
It is the responsibility of the executor to pay for any funeral expenses and outstanding debts etc from the estate before any of the remainder is distributed.
FacingBereavement - 13-Apr-17 @ 12:45 PM
My husband has been named to inhearate all hid dads real and personal property. His aunt D is named executor . she says there is like 13,000 debt owed for funeral and a small personal loan the home is paid for . my ? Is can she sell the house if we want to live as permenat residence . and can she keep us leagaly of property. I am trying to get up the money owed if and when i do can I pay debt and it all be done to finish he passed in Nov. 2016 .
Vickie - 11-Apr-17 @ 4:05 PM
Hello, My grandmother died and left her house to my uncles who lived there, one of them died 4 years later and did not make a will, the other died two years ago and did not leave a will, but left a lot of debt. Did my mother inherit 25% of the property on the death of the first of her brothers?
AJ - 8-Apr-17 @ 11:33 AM
My father passed away last june, what rights does his [partner have as she is living in my fathers property. I have been left half of his estate which includes the house,
IAN - 6-Apr-17 @ 9:50 PM
Lis - Your Question:
My partner and I aren't married, we have one child. There is no will. I know I have to rights to any if his estate if he dies and it will all pass to our daughter, she is a minor and will be for some time. If the house is in my partners name only what would happen? Can we still live in the house or would it have to be sold and the money held in trust for our daughter? Also can I be her trustee or must it be someone independent? What would happen to money in a joint account would have become my daughter's? Thanks

Our Response:
It would be easier to write a Will together with your partner, so you would know about all this in advance. If there is no Will, the estate does not automatically go to the partner and you might need to go through the courts to resolve this and ensure you are provided for. So a Will is the best approach and will save you money and hassle in the long term.
FacingBereavement - 6-Apr-17 @ 10:26 AM
Lily - Your Question:
Mum and dad owned house (tenancy in common) and when Mum died last year she left in her will her half to us, her kids. Land registry changed to our names so we now co-own the house with our dad. He is alive and will continue to live in the house. My question is, does the inheritance tax on what is now our inherited half of the house have to be paid already at this stage or can it be left until such times as dad passes away and then dealt with? Or if we leave it til then, will we be penalized in any any way?

Our Response:
Yes you will pay IHT on an inheritance threshold of £325,000 per person, you pay 40% of any value over that threshold. If IHT is due it is payable within 6 months of the end of the month in which your mother died. If you can't sell your interest in the estate (i.e there's no cash in the estate at the moment), you can arrange to pay the tax in monthly instalments over 10 years (interest will be payable).
FacingBereavement - 5-Apr-17 @ 2:07 PM
My partner and I aren't married, we have one child. There is no will. I know I have to rights to any if his estate if he dies and it will all pass to our daughter, she is a minor and will be for some time. If the house is in my partners name only what would happen? Can we still live in the house or would it have to be sold and the money held in trust for our daughter? Also can I be her trustee or must it be someone independent? What would happen to money in a joint account would have become my daughter's? Thanks
Lis - 4-Apr-17 @ 12:27 PM
Mum and dad owned house (tenancy in common) and when Mum died last year she left in her will her half to us, her kids. Land registry changed to our names so we now co-own the house with our dad. He is alive and will continue to live in the house. My question is, does the inheritance tax on what is now our inherited half of the house have to be paid already at this stage or can it be left until such times as dad passes away and then dealt with? Or if we leave it til then, will we be penalized in any any way?
Lily - 2-Apr-17 @ 9:55 AM
Bet - Your Question:
My father purchased a property and immediately transferred 80% to me via title deed. I then cared for him for several years until I could no longer cope and we sold the house to enable him to enter a nursing home. On sale I had my 80% share and the remaining money went into my dad's saving account and some of this money used to pay fee's for home. My father subsequently passed away and the will has just been made available but because he had written in his will that his share of the house was to come to me they are saying that because we sold the house this is no longer valid? It was my dad's intention to leave this to me and the only reason he didn't give to me at the time was because if anything happened to me while he was still alive the money could be frozen pending my will/probate. Is this correct, do I have any recourse?

Our Response:
Who is trying to claim the money? Sorry it's not clear. Does the nursing home want as payment for his fees?
FacingBereavement - 23-Mar-17 @ 2:06 PM
My father purchased a property and immediately transferred 80% to me via title deed. I then cared for him for several years until I could no longer cope and we sold the house to enable him to enter a nursing home. On sale I had my 80% share and the remaining money went into my dad'ssaving account and some of this money used to pay fee's for home. My father subsequently passed away and the will has just been made available but because he had written in his will that his share of the house was to come to me they are saying that because we sold the house this is no longer valid? It was my dad's intention to leave this to me and the only reason he didn't give to me at the time was because if anything happened to me while he was still alive the money could be frozen pending my will/probate. Is this correct, do I have any recourse?
Bet - 22-Mar-17 @ 4:44 PM
Esexboy - Your Question:
My brother lives with my mother and wants to sell the house (mortgage paid off by them and my Brother's ex partner). My mother wants to leave the asset to him and his ex partner even though I had paid my mother a monthly sum to help her pay her 65% share of the mortgage.Even though I wasn't named in mortgage or have anything in writing do I have a claim on the asset?

Our Response:
Do you have any proof of the payments you made and how long you paid them for? If so, this might help with any claim. We can't say for sure what a court would decide.
FacingBereavement - 22-Mar-17 @ 2:35 PM
My sister and I have cared for our 94 years old mum for more than 40 years. She now has advanced Alzheimer's and needs more help than ever. She lives in her own house and has made a will. We have a brother who has lived abroad for most of this time and has recently been divorced and has nothing to his name. He wants to come back to UK and live with mum and pay one of her bills so he can get a bank account. But, if mum dies whilst he is living in her house will we have problems if he won't move out. We have advised him that she will lose her single status benefits if he lives with her and that she gets confused which is so unfair. Help
Confused - 20-Mar-17 @ 8:08 PM
My brother lives with my mother and wants to sell the house (mortgage paid off by them and my Brother's ex partner). My mother wants to leave the asset to him and his ex partner even though I had paid my mother a monthly sum to help her pay her 65% share of the mortgage. Even though I wasn't named in mortgage or have anything in writing do I have a claim on the asset?
Esexboy - 20-Mar-17 @ 11:35 AM
annie - Your Question:
Hi. my step mother has changed her will without my father knowing. She has left her estate to her children. Will my father be forced to sell his home and have to pay his step children their inheritance. or will he be allowed to stay in the home until he dies and then monies paid out accordingly. Would you advise me to tell my father of my step mothers actions? Many thanks for your help

Our Response:
He may be able to contest the Will if it seems unfair. If he is a joint owner (joint tenant rather than a tenant in common) this may not be needed as if one person dies, the remaining owner automatically becomes the owner of the property entitled to deal with it as they please and if sold, will receive all of the sale money.
FacingBereavement - 17-Mar-17 @ 12:25 PM
Dazza744 - Your Question:
Hi,I've lived 46 years with my parents up until they passed away,mum 5 years ago and father in June. I cared full-time for both in their latter years,there was no will made by either so me and my sister each received 50%,now sister wants her share of the house and is the process of estate agents involved or me giving her the market value for her share of the house(so much for family rate). Could someone let me know where I stand on this please!

Our Response:
This is the usual procedure for a 50/50 shared inheritance unfortunately.
FacingBereavement - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:46 AM
Hi ... my step mother has changed her will without my father knowing.She has left her estate to her children.Will my father be forced to sell his home and have to pay his step children their inheritance ... or will he be allowed to stay in the home until he dies and then monies paid out accordingly.Would you advise me to tell my father of my step mothers actions?Many thanks for your help
annie - 15-Mar-17 @ 4:10 PM
Red - Your Question:
My dad inherited 12 acres he put my stepmother name on deed. Dad died later my step mom died no kids together who gets the land ,she had 5 when she married my Dad. He had 2 kids this is in tennessee. HELP ME FIND OUT PLEASE

Our Response:
We don't know how it works in the USA, but here in the UK your step mother would have inherited the property when her husband died. If she leaves no Will when she dies her own biological children then inherit.
FacingBereavement - 14-Mar-17 @ 2:03 PM
shazwee - Your Question:
Please help ! My mum recently passed away she left her house and all belongings to me, the house was owned by her alone but my step dad does have the right to reside there until he dies, remarries etc. He has changed the locks and wont be me get my mums belongings out, what can I do ?? There is no help online for this kind of problem, I have tried the police they are not interested and citizens advise could not help

Our Response:
We don't know what the legal position is but if there is a Will saying you are to inherit the belongings then your solicitor or the executor of the Will should be able to help.
FacingBereavement - 14-Mar-17 @ 9:59 AM
Hi,I've lived 46 years with my parents up until they passed away,mum 5 years ago and father in June. I cared full-time for both in their latter years,there was no will made by either so me and my sister each received 50%,now sister wants her share of the house and is the process of estate agents involved or me giving her the market value for her share of the house(so much for family rate). Could someone let me know where I stand on this please!
Dazza744 - 14-Mar-17 @ 2:33 AM
My dad inherited 12 acres he put my stepmother name on deed. Dad died later my step mom died no kids together who gets the land ,she had 5 when she married my Dad. He had 2 kids this is in tennessee.HELP ME FIND OUT PLEASE
Red - 12-Mar-17 @ 8:04 PM
Please help ! My mum recently passed away she left her house and all belongings to me, the house was owned by her alone but my step dad does have the right to reside there until he dies, remarries etc. He has changed the locks and wont be me get my mums belongings out, what can I do ?? There is no help online for this kind of problem, I have tried the police they are not interested and citizens advise could not help
shazwee - 11-Mar-17 @ 6:48 AM
Dante - Your Question:
Me and my brother inherited a property, my brother is now living in it and sorting a mortgage out to give me my share of the inheritance, could he live there without giving me this payment long term and end up with the property being entirely his?

Our Response:
Not if you have documentation to say otherwise and you make sure you do not agree to a long term stay. Perhaps you could negotiate a rent payment for your half?
FacingBereavement - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:47 AM
Me and my brother inherited a property, my brother is now living in it and sorting a mortgage out to give me my share of the inheritance, could he live there without giving me this payment long term and end up with the property being entirely his?
Dante - 9-Mar-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi my father passed away me and my sister are executors he left house to us but my mothers name is still on title deeds they have been separatedbut not divorcedfor 26 years what do we do
Mollyflop - 8-Mar-17 @ 9:01 PM
Chappy - Your Question:
Hello, my father and brother owned a house together as tenants in common with unequal shares, 30/70 respectively. My father has passed away and left his 30% share to me in his will. Can I now move into the property? I've told my brother I intend to move in to the house but he doesn't want me living in there with him.

Our Response:
You really should seek legal advice here. In general a co owner (tenant in common) has no right to remain living in a property unless a separate agreement is in place.
FacingBereavement - 6-Mar-17 @ 2:28 PM
Hello, my father and brother owned a house together as tenants in common with unequal shares, 30/70 respectively. My father has passed away and left his 30% share to me in his will. Can I now move into the property? I've told my brother I intend to move in to the house but he doesn't want me living in there with him.
Chappy - 3-Mar-17 @ 12:08 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FacingBereavement website. Please read our Disclaimer.