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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My brother owns a house which he purchased (as far as I know,

Resolved Question:

My brother owns a house which he purchased (as far as I know, equally) with his wife and her parents about 25 years ago.

His wife died in 2008 and just very recently he fell out with his in-laws. His father in law asked him to leave. He has not lived there now for about a month and I have advised him to seek legal advice as to his rights where the property is concerned, but he hasn't done so yet. He is 54 and I am worried that he could lose out if he leaves it too long. His share in the house is pretty much all he has for a nest egg. He has paid toward the mortgage the whole time (I think enough to cover all of it) but he has no proof of this as everything has been cash - no paper trail.

Can anyone give me a clue as to what might come of this and whether he will find it difficult to stake his claim on the house? Before his wife passed away, I pulled the title from the land registry website and although not suitable for legal use, the document showed four names on title to the property, one of which was his.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.
Hi

What happened to his wifes share of the proper after she died?

Tom
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't know. I can only assume it was the same as if it were a 'normal' mortgage that a married couple would usually have (joint tenancy I believe it's called?). This is another reason I am urging him to seek advice. His father in law dealt with everything related to her death, even though my brother was her legal next of kin (at least that's my understanding). His father in law can be quite an intimidating character whilst my brother is the opposite so won't easily stand up to him.

If the joint tenancy is, as I suspect, the case, then there would be three shares now - my brother owning one third instead of one quarter - no? His wife's having effectively vanished?
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

 

Okay.

 

1. Did they have any children

2. Did she leave a will

 

Tom

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Four children - all adult and no will, she died intestate.
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Was a grant of representation taken out (ie. by your brother perhaps)?

 

Did her assets (inc her interest in the house) exceed £250, 000.00


Tom

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't think any grant was taken by anyone (except maybe her father, but I doubt it) Definitely not by my brother.

She had no estate to speak of, only the house would have been of significant value, and I would estimate her 1/4 share to be in the region of £80,000 - £100,000
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Hi.

 

If the property was held as joint tenants then the share would have been transferred automatically to the surviving joint owners in equal shares. I think this unlikely, they would probably have been advised to hold a tenants in common.


If as TICs then the share would pass under the intestacy rules to your brother. If this is the case and there was no earlier trust document declaring that they owned un equal shares in the property then your brother would now hold 50% and 25% would be held by his parents in law.


If he is registered on the title then he still has a right to occupy the property and it will not be difficult to prove his share.


He does need to see a solicitor about transferring his wifes share to his name and taking out letters of representation in order to do this however.

 

 

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. You will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,


Tom

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your time, Tom. Much appreciated. :)