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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7434
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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if a wifes husband dies and has no will who does the estate

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if a wifes husband dies and has no will who does the estate go to if he had children to a previous marrige

Does the wife own a house with the husband? If so, is it held as joint tenants or tenants in common?

Did they have any joint house or bank accounts?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the wife and husband my brother owned the house together for 10 yrs he had children to his 1st marrage this was his 3rd they did not have any joint bank accounts and the morgage was paid off hope you can help



Sorry, I'm a bit confused are you saying three people owned a house (wife/husband/brother), or that two people owned the house (the wife and the husband who is also your brother)?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry i am his brother asking the question the house was owned and paid for by my now departed older brother who owned the house with his now widowed wife they had no children between them and no joint accounts the wife thinks she has to sell the house and share all his money three ways i am telling her she does not have to sell the home they lived in together as that goes to her and not the children to a previous marrige not sure about the funds in his accounts though i need to go out soon sorry


Thanks for your patience.


What happens to the property depends on how you own your interests in the property. You can own it in two ways 1) Joint tenants or 2) tenants in common.

If you own as joint tenants then the property would pass to the survivor when one of them dies.

If you own as tenants in common then the property would pass according to the deceased’s person’s Will or under the intestacy rules if they do not have a Wll. So, the survivor of the two would only inherit the property if the Will specified or if they were entitled to under the intestacy rules.

You can check how you own the property by downloading a copy of the register for the property from the Land Registry by paying a £4.00 fee:-

Look at the propreitorship register of the title you have downloaded from the Land Registry (where the proprietors of the property are listed). If the following entry is immediately below the named registered proprietors then the interests are held as tenants in common:-

" No disposition by a sole propreitor 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"

If there is no such entry then the property is held as joint tenants. This means that the house would pass to your brother’s widowed wife. If the entry is there then this means that his share of the house would fall in to his estate and pass under the intestacy rules.

If he did not have a Will then the rest of his estate passes under the intestacy rules.If a person is married and has children then the first £250, 000.00 and his personal possessions would pass to his wife. The remainder of what’s left would be split in two with the children getting the first half (split between them), the remaining half would be held and the wife would have a life interest in it (ie. the right to interes) and once she herself passes away it would then pass to the children

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Kind regards,

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