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PortsmouthLaw
PortsmouthLaw, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 255
Experience:  I have been a Solicitor since 1981 with experience in property, landlord & tenant & wills & probate
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Can you bequeath property to someone and then specify what

Resolved Question:

<p>Can you bequeath property to someone and then specify what happens to that property after that person dies?</p><p> The full situation is as follows, this applies to family in the UK, (England).</p><p>My sister and her husband were married for many years.   He died before her.   When she died she left a will bequeathing the house to one of her three children only.    One of his sisters is claiming that her father left a will stating the house should go to her child when his wife dies.   </p><p>My understanding of the law would assume that once the husband died his wife gained full ownership of the house and is free to leave it to whoever she wishes, and any previous will left by her deceased husband would not longer apply in terms of this property.</p><p>Can you advise if my understanding is correct please.</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Bob. </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  PortsmouthLaw replied 6 years ago.

PortsmouthLaw :

HiCustomer In order to answer the question fully, you need to know how the husband and wife owned the property. There are two ways of owning a property jointly. You may own as joint tenants or tenants in common. If a joint tenant dies, the property automatically belongs to the survivor, regardless of anything that is said in the Will. If a tenant in common dies, his or her half share passes under the terms of his or her Will. It is more likely that the husband and wife owned the property as joint tenants so that it passed to the wife on the death of the husband. The wife is then free to leave it to whoever she wishes. In order for the husband to leave his share of the property to another child, he would have had to have owned the property with his wife as tenants in common. He would then have given his share only to this child, and the Will would have given to the wife a life interest in his half share, so that she could live in the whole of the property until she died.

PortsmouthLaw :

It seems unlikely that this is the case. If the title to the land is registered, you can check to see who the registered owner of the property is, by applying to the Land Registry for a copy of the title. The website is www.landregistry.gov.uk and copies cost £4. You can also apply to the probate registry for copies of each will so that you can see what is actually in them. Copies are only available if the will has been proved. It is quite possible that the husband's will was not proved.

PortsmouthLaw :

Hope this answers your question. If so, please click Accept, but do come back for more information if you need to.

Customer:

Thank you - this is very helpful.

Customer:

Thank you. XXXXX right in assuming that the majority of married couples in the UK would take out a "joint tenacy" and that this would be the default position required by the mortgage company unless other circumstances were present? My sisters will certainly referred to the house in full and did not refer to multiple interests in the house when designating what should happen to it.

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