Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.
My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.
I am afraid that the Buyers Solicitors and the Land Registry will require to see evidence as to the Personal Representative of both the deceased parties, before any Transfer can be registered at the Land Registry. This entails the Executor named in the Will of the spouse who made a Will obtaining Probate, and the other spouses's surviving spouse obtaining Letters of Administration. This is a relatively straight forward process, and can be done either by instructing a Wills/Probate Solicitor, or by the surviving spouses attending an interview at a local Probate Registry. This will of course cause somewhat of a headache for the party who resides in Australia, who would need to find an English Solicitor to do the necessary paperwork.
Once the above hurdles have been overcome, it would be normal for the Sellers Solicitor to prepare the necessary transfer document, but this can be done by the Buyers Solicitors. If the Sellers do not take independent legal advice, the Transfer can be registered at the Land Registry, once all parties have signed,, PROVIDED the Sellers complete the Land Registry Form ID1, which is a form completed by a UK Solicitor to confirm they have verified the parties identity. (This requirement has been brought in by the Land Registry to guard against fraudulent transactions).
I appreciate the land in question has a nominal value, but the above procedure applies whether you are talking about a small piece of land or a £5 million mansion.
I hope this assists you and sets out the legal position.
A question regarding obtaining probate - the uncle who died in Australia passed away several years ago. Would his executor (which I believe to be his son) have already gone though the probate process (or equivalent) over there? Would they have to do this again in the UK? I'm not sure about the relative in the UK (my aunt) but again she passed away a while back and I'd have thought that letters of administration may would have already been obtained (although there's a possibility that everything was in the spouses name). Once the executor had obtained probate would it be them that would sign when the land was sold or would it be the surviving spouse?
Probate/Letters of Administration would have been required to be obtained in the UK if either of the deceased parties held assets (bank accounts/shares etc) in this country.
Yes- it is the persons who obtain the Probate and Letters of Administration who would need to sign the Transfer of the land.
I hope this helps you.