Probate Questions: Have we lost the house?
Q: My brother died 6 years ago and the house that was originally my dads and his went to his girlfriend. She has now died and her name and my brothers name are on the deeds. He did not leave a Will. Where do the family of my sister stand ?
A: It depends how the property was owned but almost certainly it will go to his family. It may possibly have been owned in equal shares, or have been in trust for him. Do you have a copy of her Will? You can get one for £6 from Leeds Probate Registry, their contact details are on this page (don’t ring us by mistake!)
Q: Thanks for that. My dad did not leave a Will and neither did my brother. He was only 40, his girlfriend and he has no children. So the fact that no Wills were left and my brothers name was still on the deeds means nothing?
A. Have a look at this: which will help answer your probate question. It explains the two types of joint ownership. One way, there might be something in it, the other there would not.
You can check the Land Registry and download the Title Register – if it says “No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court” you may be on a winner – otherwise, the survivor automatically inherited the whole thing.
We can check for you for £30, but it will cost you £4 if you do it!
Do let me know how you get on!
If you would like us to look at brief probate questions for you, please email details and if we can answer it in less than 5 minutes, and have the time (no promises) we’ll try to help. If it is too detailed and we would have to charge, we’ll let you know in advance. But we do try to help if we can. Clearly, this is informal advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for such advice without a full review which would require a fee.