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 sympathies on the loss of your husband.
May I ask if your husband left a will? If so did he make you an executor and beneficiary of the house in question please?
Thank you. Do you have any children together?
Thank you. IN that case as you will likely be aware everything comes to you as his wife under the intestacy rules and you are in deed entitled to act as his administrator. Have you yet applied for a grant of probate?
Thanks. The probate registry are not correct as far as the house is concerned that is in your husband and sisters names. You will need a grant of probate in order to deal with that. As regards XXXXX XXXXX you owned, they may will be correct if you owned everything jointly in the main.
My last question if I may have you confirmed that the house is owned by your husband and his sister as tenants in common rather than joint tenants - if you are unsure as to what I refer to please let me know.
Thats good - as you probably know if it is joint tenants then his sister may have inherited automatically.
So the position is that you will require a grant of probate in order to deal with the property. You can speak to the building society. It is a common mistake that banks and other institutions make in refusing to talk to administrators. You have a right to any and all information about the account as was your husband by virtue of s1 Administration of Estates Act. Consider writing to them to inform them that you act as administrator - you will need to supply a copy of your husbands death certificate and request that they update their records and confirm that information will be supplied to you as per their obligation under the above legislation.
If you disagree with his sister about whether to sell the property now or otherwise you could ultimately force a sale under the provisions of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act though ideally you would be able to reach an agreement over the issue.
Have you confirmed that the property is held as tenants in common?
Providing the property is held as tenants in common - you can check this(please let me know if you would like to know how) then the lender must discuss the account with you. It is not optional. s1 AoEA (above) gives you authority in respect of all your husbands assets and you become the legal controller of them. Having ssaid that is is very common to run into problems with call centre staff - they typically do not receive training in respect of succession laws and the Data Protection Act and so incorrectly advise they cannot discuss with you.
The issue is resolved by writing to the bank;s probate team with a copy of the grant of probate. The probate team are normally better trained and will update the account with your name which means that call centre staff will happily deal with you.
Thanks. I would recommend you confirm. It is very easy. You can obtain a copy of the title entries for the property using the following link for £3:
Once you have the title entries for the property case your eye down to section B where you should see your husband and his sisters names. You are looking below that for an entry that states "RESTRICTION: No odisposition by a sole proprietor..."
If there is such an entry then they held as tenants in common and all the above we have discussed applies. If there is no such entry this suggests the property was held as joint tenants which may mean that you would need to consdier appointing a solicitor to assist you in asserting your husbands interest as notwithstanding his sister would be entitled to inherit by succession. I am sure this will not be the case though from what you say.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Thanks. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
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