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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Hi, My father has died and we cannot find a will. My stepmother

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Hi, My father has died and we cannot find a will. My stepmother has dementia. There is no estate other than the house which is jointly owned with no mortgage. I was my father's power of attorney. Do I need to get a grant of probate for the house or does it automatically become my stepmother's? The government website is very confusing about what happens if there is no will and who inherits when the property is valued above the inheritance tax threshold


Yes, if the house is jointly owned, with your step mother it automatically becomes hers upon your father's demise.

This is known as the survisorship rule.


You need to check that it is indeed a joint tenancy and not a tenancy in common.

Can I assist further?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

All we know is that it is in joint names - how do we check the tenancy? The govt website also says that is there is no will even if the property is in joint names my stepmother only inherits the amount up to the inheritance threshold and anything above is shared between her and children? You have not answered this or anything about the question I posed ie do we need to go to probate?

See this guidance on how you can tell that the property is jointly owned and where you can get a copy of the deeds if you do not have access to them:

If the property is jointly owned, it automatically becomes your stepmother's outside of any Will, it becomes hers automatically outside your late father's estate. It is not affected by the 250K limit.

You cannot apply for grant of probate as there is no Will. As you do not have any right to the property, you do not need to apply for grant of letters of administration as well.

Hope this clarifies.

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