Question about probate and selling house

ON behalf of a friend.
My friends ex-girlfriend passed away (friend had split with her and moved out of the home that was owned tenants in common, with my friend owning the larger share.)
Friend now needs to sell the home as can not afford to keep up payments on the home, but letters of administration have not come through yet.  The ex-partners family are very hostile towards my friend, and will not communicate with him. He  does not even know if they have applied for letters of administration yet as their solicitor is refusing to reply to my friends solicitor when they requested this info.  This is obviously delaying the sale, infact brought it to a complete stop as his solicitor says they can not continue with the sale until the letters of administration are received.  Surely this cant be correct as he could be tied to a house that he can not afford  (or until repossession at least).  Friend is back living in the house. 

Any advice please

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
Juvenal, The Sixteen Satires

Comments

  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,587
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 6:37PM
    his solicitor says they can not continue with the sale until the letters of administration are received.  Surely this cant be correct as he could be tied to a house that he can not afford  (or until repossession at least).  

    The letters of administration are what give the people applying for them  the authority to exchange / complete on the house sale in place of the deceased - so yes, it is correct that the house sale cannot be done until the letters of administration are granted. 
  • davemorton
    davemorton Posts: 29,065
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    Many thanks for the quick reply.  That seems utter madness that my friend might end up getting the home that they own the larger share of, repossessed, if the family have not bothered to apply for letters of administration. 
    “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
    Juvenal, The Sixteen Satires
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,261
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    Yes, you can sell. You need to appoint another trustee in place of the deceased. Speak with a conveyancing solicitor who has done this before. I sold the property my father and I held as tenants in common by appointing a friend as trustee before I was granted the probate I needed for other aspects of the estate. I assume that the onus is then on that trustee to ensure the proceeds of the deceased portion do reach their rightful beneficiary. 
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,261
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 7:25PM
    his solicitor says they can not continue with the sale until the letters of administration are received.  Surely this cant be correct as he could be tied to a house that he can not afford  (or until repossession at least).  

    The letters of administration are what give the people applying for them  the authority to exchange / complete on the house sale in place of the deceased - so yes, it is correct that the house sale cannot be done until the letters of administration are granted. 
    This is not the case where there is a surviving tenant in common (see my reply above) but I agree if the deceased was a sole owner it would be necessary. 
  • poppystar
    poppystar Posts: 1,261
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 7:38PM
    https://www.land-registry-documents.co.uk/information/joint-ownership-tennants/


    This link should tell your friend what he needs to know. It should cost no more in conveyancing to sell in this way.

    He may need to explain this to the solicitor he has spoken to along with pointing out that the solicitor stopping the sale is potentially causing his client a loss if the sale falls through because of this advice.
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