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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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If a person signs ownership to their property to their children

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If a person signs ownership to their property to their children and it is agreed that the property is still the parents until they pass away and that property is sold , plus one of the children have passed away , does the widow of the deceased child have any right to the money? ( the parent is still alive )
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

If this was all done without instructing a solicitor then the situation is extremely complicated.

Once the legal title in the property has passed from the parents to the children and the children are registered on the registered title for the property then the property is the children’s. This means that unless there is some form of agreement or trust then they are entitled to do with the property as they see fit.

If it was intended that the parent should be permitted to live there until they pass away then a written trust should have been made granting them this life interest. If this was not done then it is going to be difficult for the parent to claim an interest and they would have to litigate under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.

Alternatively they may have transferred the property to the children but subject to a written declaration of trust which stated that although the legal title has passed to the child they retain a percentage interest in the equity. Again this would have to be in writing and would usually be drafted by a solicitor.

If neither of these were done and one of the children passed away then whether their widow would inherit depends on how they held their interests. If the children held their interests as “joint tenants” then the deceased’s child’s share would pass to the other surviving child that owned the property with them.

If they held their interests as “tenants in common” then their interest in the property would pass to who ever was stated should inherit in their Will or, if they did not have a Will, under the intestacy rules.

If following the death of the child nothing has happened then you can check by downloading a copy of the register for the property from the Land Registry by paying a £4.00 fee:-
http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/portal/Property_Search

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 proprty is held as joint tenants.
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If this is a situation that actually exists then the parents need to take specific legal advice from a local solicitor.


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Kind regards,


Tom
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