Inheriting part house from a tenant in common

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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poppystarpoppystar Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
My parents held their house as tenants in common and my mother's half was left to me in her Will with condition that my father continues to live there, is responsible for upkeep etc.

My father and I are the executors of estate and have dealt quite capably with all the financial matters BUT we asked for solicitors advice on the house issue - and quite frankly it seems to be complicated and confusing.

I assumed we would need to inform the Land Registry of my mother's death and that the house would probably then be changed into either my fathers sole name with some form of note on file that I have half the house left in trust for me or held by my father and the 'trust' as tenants in common. Neither of these is suggested by the solicitor.

The solicitor seems to be saying that there are only two options:
1. to do nothing at this stage, not even inform the Land Registry
2. to change the ownership to tenants in common, my father and I
(at a very high cost)

We want to do the right thing by each of us and to prevent future problems should either of our circumstances change in any way. And also prevent any further complications should I need to sell after my father dies - assuming he goes first!


If we do option 2 and become tenants in common with me in my name not as a trust, what are the liabilities and responsibilities that arise with that, if any, and how can we ensure that the terms of the Will will definitely still stand in regard to protecting my father's interests since these will only be noted in my mother's Will?


Many thanks for any help or benefit of past experience!

Replies

  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    It would not cost any less to move the property to be held by you-as-trustee that to you-as-individual.
    You can leave things as they are - as your parents held as tenants-in-common the office copy entries will show this so if your dad tried to sell or motgage the property the buyer or lender would need either your mum or her executors to sign any paperwork, so you are not disadvantaged by leaving everything as is.

    if the propety goes into your name and your dad's name as tenants in common it will ned both of you to do anything, and your dad can presumably speak up and protect his own rights by refering to the will if he needed to do so. You could not sell or mortgage the poperty without his agreement and if you tried to force a sale then he would be ableto produce the will as evidence of the trust.

    If your circumstnaces changed, for instance if you became bankrupt or were divorced so a third party was trying to get your share of the hosue, the same would apply.

    I think it would also be possible to record on the paperwork (and therefore on the deeds) that the property is held subject to conditions in your mother's will, but you would ned to take advice about that.

    If the property is mortgage-free you may be able to deal with the transfer yourself if you feel confident in doing so. You can also shop around and get quotes from other solicitors to see whether what you;'ve been quoted is really 'very high cost' or not.

    Your dad might also want to take some advice about setting up a power of attorney so that you, either alone or with another person, can deal with his property if he becomes ill and unable to do so.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • poppystarpoppystar Forumite
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    Thanks Bagpuss

    The more I look at this this more it seems it might be best to leave everything as it is. I think we were trying to 'do the right thing' so thought we needed to speak to the Land Registry.

    If regardless of what we do we always need to refer to the Will rather than any 'trust' document then again it seems not worth doing anything at this stage.

    I would have shopped around solicitors but my father is used to dealing with this one who drew up the Wills etc.- and the Land Registry forms looked a little too difficult to tackle alone!

    The Power of Attorney is difficult at the moment but thanks for mentioning it. I have tried to raise the matter with my father, citing examples of other friends and their parents, but so far he is not interested or happy to go forward with it. I would prefer it was in place now to be activated when needed but I can't really push it any further - and strangely the solicitor hasn't brought it up either.

    Thanks again for replying.
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    The will is the trust document if it leaves a life interest.
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