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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to you wishing to consult

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you wishing to consult your professional opinion about changing names on a house deed.

The matter is that, my father has a flat in London, however, he passed away about 13 years ago, he did not leave a will as to what to do with it, so since then I have been in charge of all the matters regarding to the flat. Now I would like to buy the freehold of it, but the flat is not under me.

Could you please give me some advice as to what I should do legally to change the name of the deed?

It would be grateful if you could help me.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Grace Mo
Hi Grace,

Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. Were letters of administration taken out in his name following his passing
2. Did he have any other assets which were dealt with at the time of his death, or was it just the flat and you simply kept looking after it
3. Did he have a wife at the time of his passing
4. Have you any siblings
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Tom.


1. What is letters of administration?

2. No other assets, it was just the flat that I am looking after

3. He had a wife at the time, but she wasn't my mother

4. I have siblings and they are all step.


Kind regards



Hi Grace,

Did he have a Will?

Where is his wife?

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi! Thomas,


No, he didn't leave a will, and that's why it becomes a problem.


I don't where his wife is now. My father didn't married my mother. He bought the flat for me, and became very sick and passed away. He was also a lawyer himself, so his friends told me not to say to his wife about this flat at the time, otherwise I would not be left with anything. I was then 22 years old, so I listened to his friend. However, now there is some trouble at the building management and it can only resolved if I buy the freehold. So, I need to make a decision as soon as possible. I also would like to know how much it will cost for everything.


Thank you very much.


Kind regards




The important thing is who actually owns the leasehold interest in the flat, or who is entitled to own it following your father's passing.

Do you know whose name is XXXXX XXXXX registered title to the property?

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, my father's name only.

How recently have you checked the Land Registry title register to confirm this?

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have the Land Registry myself

The freehold is only worth you buying if you will become the registered propreitor of the leasehold of the flat.

If the property was in his name at the time of his death and he did not leave a Will then it would pass under the Intestacy Rules.

This would mean that his wife would be entitled to receive his personal possession and up to £250, 000.00 of his estate. Anything over this amount would then be be split in two. This first half would pass to his children and be divided up between them. The second half would be held in trust so that the children would receive it once his wife had died with his wife being entitled to the income from it for her lifetime.

So you see that there is a big question mark over whether you are entitled to be registered as the owner of the property if he did not have a Will and had a wife at the time of his death.

I think you really need to get some specific advice on this from a local solicitor because this forum is for general advice and I cannot see the Land Registry documents you have in front of you. They will be able to check from your documentation whether your circumstances are as you have described.

They may be able to help you with the property if his ex-wife cannot be traced, but it is not likely (on the facts here) that you will be solely entitled to the property if he had a wife and children.

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept then I receive no credit whatsoever for taking the time to answer your question and it does not cost you any more money than you have already deposited when you click accept.

Kind regards,

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