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Inheriting Property

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 13 Sep 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.

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Nenny - Your Question:
My mother died in a home last week. I have enduring power of attorney stamped by the Office of the Public Guardian. I am the only beneficiary and executor of a very simple will leaving me the proceeds of the bungalow, which is valued £180,000. Her total cash assets is less than £3000. So no inheritance tax. The bungalow was on the market before mum died.Can I carry on with it on the market so I can eventually pay the care fees and do I have to go through Probate? Thank you

Our Response:
You might have to get a solicitor's opinion on this. The estate will need to go through probate because of the property. To execute the terms of the Will, the title deeds to the property might need to be placed in your name before it can be sold again (do check this with a solicitor though).
FacingBereavement - 15-Sep-17 @ 12:16 PM
Bev- Your Question:
My brother and I have just been left our moms house we have got the will and house documents it is paid for and worth about 140 thousand can we just sell it or do we have to go though probate??

Our Response:
Yes you will probably have to go through probate in this instance.
FacingBereavement - 15-Sep-17 @ 12:11 PM
My mother died in a home last week.I have enduring power of attorney stamped by the Office of the Public Guardian. I am the only beneficiary and executor of a very simple will leaving me the proceeds of the bungalow, which is valued £180,000. Her total cash assets is less than £3000.So no inheritance tax. The bungalow was on the market before mum died. Can I carry on with it on the market so I can eventually pay the care fees and do I have to go through Probate? Thank you
Nenny - 13-Sep-17 @ 7:43 PM
My brother and I have just been left our moms house we have got the will and house documents it is paid for and worth about 140 thousand can we just sell it or do we have to go though probate??
Bev - 13-Sep-17 @ 4:45 PM
Abel - Your Question:
My father passed on feb 1st of 2016. He left me his house, free and clear, all paid for, in his will. I also own my own home. Do I need to do anything with the deed to his place, or just carry on and rent it out or sell it?

Our Response:
Yes, the title will need to be transferred into your name. We're assuming, you may need to go through probate, so check that out first. The executor of the Will,can transfer the property to you using what's called an ‘Assent’.The executor should submit an Assent form to the Land Registry details are here, with a copy of the Grant of Representation (proof that they are entitled to deal with the estate). The Land Registry will then transfer the property into your name.
FacingBereavement - 4-Sep-17 @ 10:08 AM
My father passed on feb 1st of 2016. He left me his house, free and clear, all paid for, in his will. I also own my own home. Do I need to do anything with the deed to his place, or just carry on and rent it out or sell it?
Abel - 28-Aug-17 @ 3:11 PM
my fiance and I lived together 8 years in total 2 yrs at another property of his. and 6 years at our current home.we have a 28 year old daughter who has lived in another property of her father's for 6 years with our granddaughtermy fiancee owned 4 properties in totalbut shared all 4 deeds with his mother(joint tenants. rights of survivorship)my fiancee made a will naming our daughter as solebeneficiary of entire estate.he died July 7th 2017 and was buried July 16, 2016 oneweek after funeral his mother and brother came to my door and started the *you have to move nowwe want to sell.these 4 houses are our property he is dead*today is 43 days and they are becoming very aggressive I asked for a little time because I am a waitress with very little incomethe death was very sudden he was 52. they told me today I have 7 days to get out and they are going to take our furniture because anything they want they are entitled to. I live in Pennsylvania. any advice is much appreciated.can they lock me out in 7 days. I'm worried
nora 0411 - 27-Aug-17 @ 10:03 PM
Just me- Your Question:
My mother passed away 5 years ago and her house was left to myself and 2 brothers and 2 sisters in her will. Her husband at the time was able to stay in our now property until he passes away or chooses to move , He passed away nearly 3 weeks ago and was laid to rest yesterday. We have not been able to get any communication from his children about clearing the house and handing the keys over ,.Can we go in and change the locks ? Do we need to do a letter of intent ? How long do we need to give then ? Following the wishes of our mothers will the house is to be sold. Also all upkeep of the house had to be done be the husband ( in the will ) we need to sort out the garden and the outside of the house will need to be painted , not sure on inside as we have not entered property yet. Do we bill them now for any works needed doing before the sale of the property. ? Please help I'm executor of mums will along with my sister who has now gone on holiday for two weeks.

Our Response:
Were your mother's children left any possessions from inside the house. Why would the children be responsible for the costs of any work needed to get the best price for the property? Sorry, you should really seek professional legal advice to sort this out as we don't have enough information.
FacingBereavement - 14-Aug-17 @ 10:31 AM
My mother passed away 5 years ago and her house was left to myself and 2 brothers and 2 sisters in her will . Her husband at the time was able to stay in our now property until he passes away or chooses to move , He passed away nearly 3 weeks ago and was laid to rest yesterday . We have not been able to get any communication from his children about clearing the house and handing the keys over ,. Can we go in and change the locks ? Do we need to do a letter of intent ? How long do we need to give then ? Following the wishes of our mothers will the house is to be sold . Also all upkeep of the house had to be done be the husband ( in the will ) we need to sort out the garden and the outside of the house will need to be painted , not sure on inside as we have not entered property yet . Do we bill them now for any works needed doing before the sale of the property . ? Please help I'm executor of mums will along with my sister who has now gone on holiday for two weeks .
Just me - 11-Aug-17 @ 7:24 AM
Nicotene - Your Question:
I have lived with my parents all my life.my mother died in May and my father died last month and left the house in his will to me and my 4 siblings with the previso that I can still live there as long as I want. My eldest sister is constantly mentioning money and I get the impression she wants to sell the house. Will any of the siblings be able to sell the house while I live there. I have taken on all the bills and as the house needs extensive repairs will have to pay for those too. Where do I stand?

Our Response:
If the Will states that you can live there as long as you want, then that's what you can do. If you're unsure, you can get a solicitor scrutinise the terms/conditions in the Will.
FacingBereavement - 4-Aug-17 @ 2:43 PM
I have lived with my parents all my life.my mother died in May and my father died last month and left the house in his will to me and my 4 siblings with the previso that I can still live there as long as I want. My eldest sister is constantly mentioning money and I get the impression she wants to sell the house. Will any of the siblings be able to sell the house while I live there. I have taken on all the bills and as the house needs extensive repairs will have to pay for those too. Where do I stand?
Nicotene - 2-Aug-17 @ 9:01 PM
Kas - Your Question:
My mum died last year with no will my dad got all her money now he wants to sell their house will me and my brothers be entitled to any of it?

Our Response:
Not necessarily - it depends on what it's worth. When a spouse dies, the other spouse inherits all the assets (including property), up to £250,000, and all the personal possessions, whatever their value. The spouse also gets half of whatever remains of the property value after that and the other half is divided between any children.
FacingBereavement - 31-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
My mum died last year with no will my dad got all her money now he wants to sell their house will me and my brothers be entitled to any of it?
Kas - 28-Jul-17 @ 12:58 PM
James - Your Question:
My great uncle left me a property a few years back. As my aunty outlived him he made it clear that she can live out her days in said property. Recently she has been moved to a home so is no longer a Tennant. She is also not in sane mind to make her own decisions. I have received a letter from the director who has been appointed. He seems to indicate that the house may be sold in the foreseeable future. To pay for potential costs of her care. I have reason to believe she still has funds available to her. Should I be worried that they're going to try and rack up her care bills to the point where they sell the house and I'm left with potentially nothing? Would I benefit from seeking formal legal advise and somebody to fight my corner for me? Would it be worth doing? Or is it out of my hands? Thank you for any responses.

Our Response:
Get a solicitor to check out the paperwork and the details of your uncle's Will. If he left you the property, was it not transferred into your name etc?:
FacingBereavement - 27-Jul-17 @ 11:02 AM
Jo.b - Your Question:
Hi there. My husband and his mum inherited 25% share each of his grandparents house when his grandad passed away 8 years ago. His grandmother has now recently passed away and so he inherits another 25% each and so does his mum. would they have to loose 40% if this over 325k or should they get some carried over allowance or something ? Sorry I'm not in the know I'm afraid and it's so confusing ! Thankyou

Our Response:
The part of the IHT allowance that went to your husband and his mother (the grandchild and the child of the deceased) cannot be transferred. A financial adviser will be able to tell you how much tax is payable (we can't help as you haven't given us the value of the property).
FacingBereavement - 26-Jul-17 @ 2:36 PM
My great uncle left me a property a few years back. As my aunty outlived him he made it clear that she can live out her days in said property. Recently she has been moved to a home so is no longer a Tennant. She is also not in sane mind to make her own decisions. I have received a letter from the director who has been appointed. He seems to indicate that the house may be sold in the foreseeable future. To pay for potential costs of her care. I have reason to believe she still has funds available to her. Should I be worried that they're going to try and rack up her care bills to the point where they sell the house and I'm left with potentially nothing? Would I benefit from seeking formal legal advise and somebody to fight my corner for me? Would it be worth doing? Or is it out of my hands? Thank you for any responses.
James - 23-Jul-17 @ 7:02 AM
Hi there. My husband and his mum inherited 25% share each of his grandparents house when his grandad passed away 8 years ago. His grandmother has now recently passed away and so he inherits another 25% each and so does his mum ... would they have to loose 40% if this over 325k or should they get some carried over allowance or something ? Sorry I'm not in the know I'm afraid and it's so confusing ! Thankyou
Jo.b - 20-Jul-17 @ 9:40 PM
My dad passed away last year .in his will he left the house to my brother to live in as long as he'd like .but if he sells it or passes any it will be slit between myself brother and nephew and niece . He has decided to marry would his new wife be entitled to the home if he died before her or will it still go as dad wished
Marie - 15-Jul-17 @ 9:03 AM
My brother and I are named on the deeds to my mother's house. The executer is my Husband. He has to make sure all debt is paid before the house can be released is this correct. Or because the deeds are already in our names can the brother go ahead and enter the property. All goods inside belong to me it is in the will.
Ja - 17-Jun-17 @ 2:10 PM
Paulab- Your Question:
Hi,I'm due to inherit my parents house along with my brother once the time comes.I'm just wondering if my husband is entitled to my half too? It is only my name and my brother's on the will but because I'm married, does that mean I have to share any profit from a sale with my husband?Thanks in advance

Our Response:
You can do what like with your inheritance. If you get divorced it will be considered in any sharing out of marital finances etc.
FacingBereavement - 6-Jun-17 @ 1:03 PM
Hi, I'm due to inherit my parents house along with my brother once the time comes. I'm just wondering if my husband is entitled to my half too? It is only my name and my brother's on the will but because I'm married, does that mean i have to share any profit from a sale with my husband? Thanks in advance
Paulab - 3-Jun-17 @ 9:38 PM
Caz - Your Question:
My mother has made a will which of which my sister and I are the Trustees and executrices. It states all her possessions and estate which includes her property is to go to me and my sister for us to "sell and/or retain all or and part and I DIRECT THAT MY TRUSTEES Shall stand possessed of my estate and divide the same into two equal parts". As it says everything must be divided into two equal parts To achieve this , I believe the house would need to be sold, but my sister is saying she doesn't want that. So what happens in a situation like this? She doesn't have the money to buy me out so would I need to obtain a court order to enable the house to be sold? Or would the house be put into both our names? I don't want this. I just want it sold and for me to get my share as my sister and I do not get on and owning a house with her just would not work.

Our Response:
No if you can't agree, the house would have to be sold and the proceeds split.
FacingBereavement - 30-May-17 @ 2:15 PM
Gilly - Your Question:
Hi my mum has not long passed away and in her will she left me everything including the house which I lived in as well as her carer. I have lived here nearly all my life a part from a few years. I am the only child. I have no intentions of selling or moving out. Will I have to pay inheritance tax? The house is worth more than the allowance, my dad died 9 years ago did they have allowances that would go towards the value of the property as I know nothing about any of this. I'm worried as this is my home and don't want to lose it. X

Our Response:
You father's IHT allowance would also count so IHT would only be payable on an amount greater than £650,000. New rules from last month (April 2017) allow an extra £100,000 if the property is passed to a family member. If the value of the property plus any additional finances/assets is greater than £750,000 therefore you will need to pay tax on anything above that amount.
FacingBereavement - 30-May-17 @ 10:43 AM
My mother has made a will which of which my sister and I are the Trustees and executrices. It states all her possessions and estate which includes her property is to go to me and my sister for us to "sell and/or retain all or and part and I DIRECT THAT MY TRUSTEES Shall stand possessed of my estate and divide the same into two equal parts". As it says everything must be divided into two equal parts To achieve this , I believe the house would need to be sold, but my sister is saying she doesn't want that. So what happens in a situation like this? She doesn't have the money to buy me out so would I need to obtain a court order to enable the house to be sold? Or would the house be put into both our names? I don't want this. I just want it sold and for me to get my share as my sister and I do not get on and owning a house with her just would not work.
Caz - 28-May-17 @ 9:25 AM
Hi my mum has not long passed away and in her will she left me everything including the house which I lived in as well as her carer. I have lived here nearly all my life a part from a few years. I am the only child. I have no intentions of selling or moving out. Will I have to pay inheritance tax? The house is worth more than the allowance, my dad died 9 years ago did they have allowances that would go towards the value of the property as I know nothing about any of this. I'm worried as this is my home and don't want to lose it. X
Gilly - 27-May-17 @ 7:37 AM
I lived with my grandmother for several years before she passed now the hospital wants to sell the house to pay bills that me and my whole family think she would not have incurred if it wasn't for their mistakes. Do I even have a leg to stand on or should I just let them have it?
Scared - 26-May-17 @ 2:45 AM
My father recently passed away and he owned a house with his partner not married he payed towards the mortgage each month and paid the deposit for the mortgage am I entitled to any part of this house ??
Beez84 - 22-May-17 @ 10:57 PM
Hi My dad has just passed away and he lived with his partner not married and they owned a house but his name was not ok the mortgage but he put the deposit down and made payments every month for about 4 years, I am I entitled to any share of this house??
Beez84 - 22-May-17 @ 10:52 PM
Jakeybabes - Your Question:
My sister in law willed her house to her two sons one brother died what happens to the property does the deceased brothers half go to his daughter

Our Response:
Assuming she is still alive, she could change the Will, if she can't/doesn't do this then the gift made in the Will "fails" because of the death of the legatee (your brother) before the person who made the Will (your sister in law). The property "falls into residue"- his share of the property might then be divided as if she had died intestate, meaning his offspring would inherit. You might like to check this with a legal professional to be sure.
FacingBereavement - 16-May-17 @ 11:30 AM
My sister in law willed her house to her two sons one brother died what happens to the property does the deceased brothers half go to his daughter
Jakeybabes - 15-May-17 @ 9:35 AM
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