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Inheriting Property

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 10 Feb 2018 | 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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Unknown - Your Question:
My mum died just over a year ago and in her will it states the house is split between me and my brother, but her partner can stay in the house as long as he needs to without making any major changes to the house. I was living with my mum up to 2 months before she passed when I was forced to move out with my new partner. When my mum died her partner changed the locks so I couldn’t get in. I wonder where I stand and if he can somehow claim the house?

Our Response:
He shouldn't be able to do this, but it's definitely worth your seeking professional legal advice on this.
FacingBereavement - 12-Feb-18 @ 2:17 PM
My mum died just over a year ago and in her will it states the house is split between me and my brother, but her partner can stay in the house as long as he needs to without making any major changes to the house. I was living with my mum up to 2 months before she passed when I was forced to move out with my new partner. When my mum died her partner changed the locks so I couldn’t get in. I wonder where I stand and if he can somehow claim the house?
Unknown - 10-Feb-18 @ 4:31 AM
Jojo - Your Question:
My mother has recently passed away and she has stated in her will that her 6 children are to receive 1/6 of her estate each my one brother still lives in her house (who's 60 years old )and wishes to remain there for a further 2 years me and my youngest brother want him to leave within 12 months as we know he will not pay any of the bills and will not look after the house please advise as to where we stand my other sister is executor to the will and wants him to stay in the house and for all of us other siblings to hand over our share of the will to him he has lived in the house for 17 years mostly rent free (60 per week) the mortgage is paid but the are still household bills to be paid which he is to irresponsible to pay and he is now going away for 2 months on holiday is it the executor responsibility to make payments for bills to be paid

Our Response:
This a question of ethics/morals really, so we can't giv good advice. It's up to you and your siblings to agree this between you. The executor does have to settle any debts that were in place before the person died and it is the executor's responsibility to ensure the Will is carried out according to the wishes of the deceased. The beneficiaries can however, agree not to dispose of assets...but if you're not all in accord this will not be feasible.
FacingBereavement - 9-Feb-18 @ 3:19 PM
My mother has recently passed away and she has stated in her will that her 6 children are to receive 1/6of her estate each my one brother still lives in her house (who's 60 years old )and wishes to remain there for a further 2 years me and my youngest brother want him to leave within 12 months as we know he will not pay any of the bills and will not look after the house please advise as to where we stand my other sister is executorto the will and wants him to stay in the house and for all of us other siblings to hand over our share of the will to him he has lived in the house for 17 years mostlyrent free (60 per week) the mortgage is paid but the are still household bills to be paid which he is to irresponsibleto pay and he is now going away for 2 months on holiday is it the executor responsibilityto make payments for bills to be paid
Jojo - 9-Feb-18 @ 2:08 AM
Caralin - Your Question:
I was contacted by bank trying to trace my exhusband. We divorced many years ago. My daughter was born to my new partner before divorce was finalised and my daughter had to have my ex’s surname on birth certicate. Would she be able to inherit from ex’s estate?

Our Response:
If your daughter is the bioligical child of your ex husband, she could inherit in the absence of a Will and any other children etc. If she has your ex husband's name on her birth certificate but is not his biological child, there's always a danager this could come to light (and it's also fraud, so you should take steps to amend it).
FacingBereavement - 31-Jan-18 @ 10:47 AM
I was contacted by bank trying to trace my exhusband. We divorced many years ago. My daughter was born to my new partner before divorce was finalised and my daughter had to have my ex’s surname on birth certicate. Would she be able to inherit from ex’s estate?
Caralin - 29-Jan-18 @ 9:58 PM
Tilly - Your Question:
Our mother died in February leaving no will her estate only consists of the family home (no savings) which our youngest sibling still lives in.We (three ) other siblings unambiguously want this to stay the same how do we go about putting this in place in legal form ?

Our Response:
You may be able to do this via the usual Probate process, but consulting a solictor would be the most straightforward way to find out.
FacingBereavement - 24-Jan-18 @ 3:44 PM
Our mother died in February leaving no will her estate only consists of the family home (no savings) which our youngest sibling still lives in.We (three ) other siblings unambiguously want this to stay the same how do we go about putting this in place in legal form ?
Tilly - 24-Jan-18 @ 12:27 AM
My sister as been told she as to leave her home by September 2018 ,she as lived in it for 51 years with her husband who died September 2017 , apparently he bought the house forty odd years ago in his name only , he made a will on his deathbed with a solicitor and no provisions for her but left the house to two of their nine grandchildren. They had 4 children together, the youngest still living at home with his mum . The house was originally rented from the council then purchased , i think she as rights ? I am also surprised the council would have sold the property to one tenant only , I find it difficult to interfere as family but told her not to leave her home . Thank you
Spud - 21-Jan-18 @ 11:38 AM
Linds- Your Question:
My mother has a house as tenants in common with her husband. She has put in her will she wants to leave her share of the house to me and my sister. She wants the house sold on her death so me and my sister can have her half. Her husband is arguing this as he will still be living in the house and says he has seen a solicitor and will fight it. Where does my mother, me and my sister stand?

Our Response:
Assuming they have equal shares in the property and your mother has made no provision for a "life interest" to enable her husband to continue living in the property then he would usually have to sell the home in order to fulfill the requirements of your mother's Will.
FacingBereavement - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:22 PM
My mother has a house as tenants in common with her husband. She has put in her will she wants to leave her share of the house to me and my sister. She wants the house sold on her death so me and my sister can have her half. Her husband is arguing this as he will still be living in the house and says he has seen a solicitor and will fight it. Where does my mother, me and my sister stand?
Linds - 7-Jan-18 @ 8:10 PM
stephen L - Your Question:
My grandmother and I bought a house in joint names from the council.The mortgage was paid off many years ago and we got the deeds of the house. She has since died and the deeds are now in my possession, do I need to do anything with them or are they ok as they are if I sell the house.

Our Response:
You should complete a "Deceased Joint Proprietor" (DJP) form and send it to HM land registry to remove the other name from the register. You will receive a new title to keep with your existing documents.
FacingBereavement - 3-Jan-18 @ 3:41 PM
My grandmother and i bought a house in joint names from the council.The mortgage was paid off many years ago and we got the deeds of the house. She has since died and the deeds are now in my possession, do i need to do anything with them or are they ok as they are if i sell the house.
stephen L - 2-Jan-18 @ 4:55 PM
Love - Your Question:
My father has died and a will in place from many years ago when he previously owned another Home to be left to my sister who since this will was written she has sold it to myself there is no current mention of my fathers current dwelling house in the will does she now receive this under Scots law or does this become a part of the estate? She thinks she can change the address to the current one and have that

Our Response:
A solicitor would be best placed to answer this question. Without seeing the Will and establishing why your sister was already in possession of the property (to be subsequently sold to you), we can't really help.
FacingBereavement - 2-Jan-18 @ 11:08 AM
My father has died and a will in place from many years ago when he previously owned another Home to be left to my sister who since this will was written she has sold it to myself there is no current mention of my fathers current dwelling house in the will does she now receive this under Scots law or does this become a part of the estate? She thinks she can change the address to the current one and have that
Love - 23-Dec-17 @ 3:37 PM
Ny wifes mother left her and her sister the house. The will states that her unmarried partner is allowed to live in the house until he dies. Can they get him out as they would like to sell the house?
Steve - 21-Nov-17 @ 9:22 PM
My mother in law passed away about a month ago. I'm the executor of the will. The house was to be left to my husband and brother in law 50/50. My brother in law wants to buy my husbands share of the house and live in the house. After obtaining probate what do I need to do next. I'm doing the probate application myself and then thought we would engage a solicitor to sell our half the house to him. it's mortage free and i have the deeds.
sarah - 13-Nov-17 @ 8:38 PM
Good Evening. My mother died recently in September 2017. Her will stated that she left half her estate to me(her only son) & half to her two grandchildren. She has no debts but also very little cash assets either, house is mortgage free. Her solicitor is the executor of her will. He seems to be going down the route of wanting to sell the house. However it has doubled in price from 2010 from 210k to 425k in 7yrs. I do not want to sell the house but I also do not want to move into it either & I would probably like to rent it out. However if it needs work or repairs I do not have the cash to spend on it either & my credit rating is poor. Can you advise do we have to sell the house or will we be made to?
Kings Best - 23-Oct-17 @ 6:10 PM
Rantz - Your Question:
My father passed away on 2014 and left is house (will) on my younger brother name. My father was ill and I was living with him for 38 years and was his full time carer My father told my brother not to sell the house and if he did then to give me my share from it. When my father died in 2014 My brother evicted me from my fathers house and made me homeless. Can you please advice me what I can do regarding my share

Our Response:
Was there a condition written into the Will that you were to have half the value of the house when it was sold, or was this just something your father told you he had asked his son about? You may need to see a solicitor about this. If there's nothing in the Will, it will be very difficult for you to claim anything without going through the court process.
FacingBereavement - 6-Oct-17 @ 11:06 AM
My father passed away on 2014 and left is house (will) on my younger brother name. My father was ill and I was living with him for 38 years and was his full time carer My father told my brother not to sell the house and if he did then to give me my share from it. When my father died in 2014 My brother evicted me from my fathers house and made me homeless. Can you please advice me what I can do regarding my share
Rantz - 6-Oct-17 @ 8:59 AM
Janey - Your Question:
My father died his brother took off to Canada left his mother in a home took me 5years to find her an I right in saying I would inferit my dead fathers share

Our Response:
If there is no Will, the estate split between any spouse and the children. If there is no spouse, the estate is split between the children (and grandchildren if there are any predeceased children)
FacingBereavement - 27-Sep-17 @ 2:41 PM
My father died his brother took off to Canada left his mother in a home took me 5years to find her an I right in saying I would inferit my dead fathers share
Janey - 25-Sep-17 @ 11:12 PM
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
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