Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Please accept my condolences for your loss.
May I ask if you have a copy of your title deeds to hand please?
no they are held by Halifax, I still service an interest only loan on the property
Thanks. May I ask if your wife left a will?
I have already stated in my initial question that she did not
Thank you - my apologies. You are quite right. There are two steps to ascertaining the position: The first is to obtain a copy of your title deeds. You can obtain a copy of your title deeds for a nominal fee of £3 using the following link. They can be downloaded instantly.
You only need to obtain the title register - you don't need the plan unless you want it for another purpose. On the register entries case your eye down to section B (Proprietorship Register). if you are joint owners, you will see both your and your wife's name. Immediately under your names, you are looking for an entry that begins "RESTRICTION: no disposition by a sole proporietor ..."
If you see such an entry this means you own the property as tenants in common. The importance of this is that if you own as tenants in common, the property does not automatically pass to you upon your wife's passing but rather passes under the terms of any will your wife made or in this case because there is no will, under the rules of intestacy (more on these below).
if you do not see the "RESTRICTION" entry as above which is quite possible, this means you are in the property as joint tenants. this would mean that the property would pass to you automatically irrespective of any will left or as is the case here the rules of intestacy and nothing further needs to be considered. If this is the case you can arrange to remove your wifes' name from the title if you wish to by completeing form DJP and sending to the land Regsigtry.
if you do see the above RESTRICTION entry then as above, the property does not automatically pass to you and we therefore need to consider the rules of intestacy to ascertain your entitlement. May I enquire as to whether your wife has any natural or adopted children?
thank you, XXXXX XXXXX have four children
Thanks. Would you think or know whether your wife's estate is worth more or less than £250K? Her estate would include any assets in her sole name and half the value of any jointly owned assets.
to close my wifes bank account down I had to provide a value of her estate. not counting our house which is currently valued at about £160,000 her estate after funeral expenses where a negative sum
Thank you. Under the intestacy rules (as provided by the Administration of Estates Act) as your wife's spouse, you are entitled in the absence of a will to the first £250,000 of her assets. Accordingly, because from what you say, her estate was worth less than £250,000, you would be entitled to everything she owned and so would be entitled to her share of the house whether you own as tenants in common or joint tenants.
thank you presumably the online site will give my any further information
if you find you own the property as joint tenants, in order to place the property into your sole name, it is simply a question of completing form DJP as above. if you find you own the property as tenants in common, in order to transfer the property into your name, you will need to obtain a grant of probate. There is no need to transfer the house into your sole name as such but if you don't then when you come to pass your children ( assuming they are your beneficiaries) will have to obtain Grants of probate for both your wife and your estates before they can sell the house.
The next step is therefore to obtain a copy of your title from the above link in order to see if you own as JT or TiC so you can decide how you wnat and need to proceed.
that's why I now looking into the situation - health not to good and I was wish to reduce any problems my daughters my have to deal with
Even if you find you need a grant of probate it is nothing to worry about. It is just a couple of forms and an appointment with yout local probate registry and a relatively modest fee of less than £100. Hopefully however you will find you own the property as joint tenants (i.e. no RESTRICTION) hence avoiding the need for a grant of probate.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Joshua you have been very helpful and I feel quite reassured that I can sort things out. thank you for your time and patients
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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