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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35088
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My brother-in-law died in June without making a will. He had

Customer Question

my brother-in-law died in June without making a will. He had a "common law wife" together they owned two properties jointly.When we asked the solicitor dealing with the estate regarding hoe the properties were held he said joint tenancy and tenants in common
were nothing. My husband and I cannot understand this. If the deceased's property was held in joint tenents then surely it would automatically go to the partner and not be classed for INT, and likewise if it was held in tenants in common she would only be entitled to her half share on the properties and IHT would be paid. If this was the case then would she not have to "buy" out the other share of the property to own it ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. The first thing you should be aware of, is that the loan leans against joint tenancies. So whilst the primary residence of your brother in law might be held on a joint tenancy, the second property most certainly isn't a joint tenancy and is held as a tenancy in common. Accordingly, you are correct in asserting that the common law wife would have to at the very least, buy out this half of the second property. Additionally, as they weren't married, it is most unlikely that they held the first property as joint tenants anyway. So whatever information you are receiving it is not correct. Additionally, as they weren't married the "common law wife" would not automatically take under an intestacy.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I fear that I disagree with my colleague since it is perfectly possible that both properties could be held as beneficial Joint Tenants (right of survivorship) or as Tenants in Common (no such right) whether or not there are mortgages involved.
It would be helpful to know which part of the Uk the property is in; and what exactly the Solicitor said about how the properties were held