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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10585
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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Dear Sir/Madam, My father, who was a widower, died recently

Resolved Question:

Dear Sir/Madam,
My father, who was a widower, died recently but did not leave a will. However, we assume that his estate, which to all intents and purposes comprises just his house, will simply be split between his two children; myself, his next of kin, and my younger brother. During the last four years of his life, my dad suffered from dementia and was in a nursing home, with costs funded by the local council and these costs now need to be reimbursed by selling the property. However, the complication is that my brother resides at the property but he has mental health issues and refuses to engage with potential health and social services. My two questions are: First, if I were seek a Letter of Administration to deal with my dad’s estate with the aim of selling the property, do I have the right to enter the property – either with or without my brother’s permission - to try and locate the deeds and/or other related documents pertaining to my dad’s estate? Second, since the house needs to be sold to pay my dad’s nursing home costs and settle his estate, am I right in assuming that this takes precedent over my brother’s current residence at the property?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

1. As your Dad did not leave a Will, it is up to either you or your Brother to apply for Letters of Administration. This is on a first come, first served basis so whoever applies first will be granted it.
You will however legally only have power to deal with the Estate, and therefore enter the house, once you have obtained Letters of A- I would however hope your Brother would allow you access to the house beforehand.
Most Deeds are now registered at the Land Registry, so if this is the case with your Dad's house, you or your Solicitor can obtain copies directly from the Land Registry website. You may therefore not need to gain access before Letters of A is granted to you.

2.The Nursing homes, as a debt of the Estate needs to be cleared first, once the house is sold and does take precedence over your Brother's right of occupation. Unless your Brother had a formal Tenancy, and was paying rent each month, he has only a "Licence" to occupy. This means his right to occupy can be terminated at any time by you, as Administrator.

I hope this answers your questions.

Kind Regards
AL
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