How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71135
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hello! My mother past away late September and since then one

This answer was rated:

Hello! My mother past away late September and since then one of my younger sisters took over my mums house living there since mum passed until a couple of weeks ago when her and her partner locked house up and went back to Portugal where they live.I did ask my sister if she found a will when they were going through my mums papers and the reply i got was No so i'd like to know where myself and other siblings go from here

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Just to clarify, your mother has not written a will?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

my mum told me years ago she had made a will but i don't know which solicitor she used but like i said my younger sister said they didn't find one in the house


If your mother did not leave a will then her assets pass strictly in accordance with fixed rules called the rules of intestacy.

Here is a link so that explains the rules of intestacy. If your father is no longer alive then your mother's assets are divided equally between her children.

Because there is no will someone has to apply for a Grant of Representation. Until that is obtained the house cannot be sold although there is no reason why it should not be marketed before then provided prospective buyers know that it is subject to probate application and therefore an inevitable delay.

This website gives you quite good information on the point.

If none of you are relatively local to the property you might want to instruct solicitors to make the application to the probate registry for you although there is no legal reason why you cannot do it yourself

Your sister may be more inclined to answer correspondence from a solicitor

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm confused a little as i would like to know if sister has the legal right to be the sole keyholder to my mums house knowing of course that she is one of the younger siblings and in portugal at this present time

It does not matter whether she was younger or older or the youngest or the oldest.

You have just as much right to go into the house as she does since there is no will.

If she will not give your key you are entitled to pay a locksmith to get in and charge your sister for the locksmith's costs, deducting it from her share of your mother's estate when it is eventually distributed.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you