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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10735
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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my parents divorced 30 yrs ago but the house was in both names

Customer Question

my parents divorced 30 yrs ago but the house was in both names when my mother left she wanted her half share to go to her 4 children and we have a solicitors letter stating her intention that it was in my name and to be shared equally with my sisters on her death we haven't been able to find out if her intentions were carried out my father died recently and the deeds we found stated the house is still in both their names even though my father made a will leaving the house to us 4 children where do we stand with the house ?
if the house is now legally all my mothers does she now need to make a will ? my sisters have power of attorney because my mother has had a stroke and has lost the ability to communicate if the house is hers now that my father has passed away is she allowed to sell it ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

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

It will all depend on how the property is being held by them.

There are 2 ways that it can be held-

1. As "Joint Tenants" which means that when one party dies, the property automatically passes to the other through survivorship.

2. As "Tenants in common" which means each party owns a specific percentage share in the property, which share passes on death in accordance with their Will.

(if a party holds a property as Tenants in common and they die leaving a Will, their share passes to the parties nominated in their Will. So, in your Father's case, his share would have passed to you 4 children).

Likewise, if the property is held as Tenants in common, if your Mother were to die next, her share would pass equally between her children, if she had not made a Will or to whoever she nominates in her Will.

If the property was held as Joint tenants, then the whole of the property automatically passes to your Mother (even if your Father's Will asks that his share pass to you children). If so, it would be wise for her to make a Will to guarantee that the property passes to you 4 children on her death.

If you want to check, you can apply to the Land Registry website for a copy of the Deeds for a nominal fee (called "Official Copies"). Once you have obtained a copy, you will need to look at the "Proprietorship Register". If there is a clause in the Proprietorship Register stating "RESTRICTION- no disposition is to be made a sole proprietor" then the property is held as Tenants in common.
If there is no Restriction, then it means the property is held as Joint Tenants.

As Attorney, your sisters do have the right to sell the property if your Mother consents, if the property was held as Joint Tenants (ie where the whole of the property has passed to your Mother) and if the Property is held as Tenants in common, they could also sell, with the consent of the other children.

I hope this assists and explains the position.

However, please let me know if you require any further clarification.

Kind Regards
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Can I be of any more assistance to you?

Kind Regards