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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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We need help to protect my niece inheritance, as her

Customer Question

We need help to protect my niece inheritance, as her mother passed away six years ago.
My brother needs to sell the family home to clear debts raised due to gambling.
His new partner feels that she has a right to put her name on the deeds of a new property, although she would only be contributing 8% to the new property and they do not live together permanently.
My niece who is a university has not been included in any of the discussions and as a family we all feel the new property should be in joint names my niece and her father.
If this outcome is not possible, the question is could my niece make a claim for her share of the proceeds of the property prior to her father and his girlfriend purchasing a property jointly?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. Can you better explain the situation. Whose name(s) are on the title deeds to the family home currently? What is the percentage of ownership of your niece in the family home? What did your niece inherit and from whom (the mother?), that you now want to safeguard her inheritance?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When my sister in law died six years ago my niece was a minor, she is now 20 yrs old. The deeds to the present property are still in my brothers name and his deceased wife's name. this was not changed when she died.
His girlfriend has never lived permanently at the family home and continues to live with her parents.
The urgency is, we understand that the new house would not be jointly in my niece's name along with my brothers name. Today we found out this is not going to happen as the girlfriend is adamant that her name should be on the deeds and not his daughter's.
We are concerned as they have a buyer for his property and are concerned that unless we take action quickly my niece will not receive what could potentially be her share of her mothers estate. We're sure if there was a will when I looked on the register of wills there is a grant! And there was a life insurance which went to my brother.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. Dear Claire, the first thing you need to do here is to clarify if there is a will or not. Accordingly, you should search in the District Probate Registry in Leeds for a will to your late sister in law. This can be done by post. be aware that the issue of whether there is a grant of Probate or not is not determinative of the issue unless the will is annexed to the Grant of Probate. So, this you should check as your answer is confused on this point. A Grant of Probate can issue where there is no will. So check this point first of all. It is very important because it determines whether your niece does in fact have an interest in the house or not. It determines whether the will applies or whether the rules of intestate succession apply. In each of these situations, the interest your niece would have in the house or the estate of your late sister in law would vary.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
2. The first thing which your niece needs to do for herself is to get a solicitor to register any interest she may have in the house as a notice or restriction upon the house in the Land Registry. A notice or a restriction is an advertisement that your niece has an interest in the house so if it comes to be sold, account has to be taken of her interest. This ensures that your brother cannot use the proceeds as he sees fit and disregard the interests of his daughter, your niece. It also means that if a new house is purchased and the interest of the niece not safeguarded, then the new house comes with an interest of your niece in the actual house as the monies representing her interest can be traced into the new house. It also means that even if the name of your brother's girlfriend is put on the title folio to the new house, that her interest is subject to any interest your niece might have in the house.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
3. Please Rate the Answer as unless you Rate the answer your Expert receives no payment for answering your Question so there is no incentive to answer any further Question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is no will registered, so I will need to order, is district probate office for the south East in Leeds or can I just order from the website?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
4. You can order online your probate records. The District Probate Registry in Leeds is for postal enquiries. Here is a link to the UK.GOV website which sets out where to find your records and how to apply. Please Note that I don't offer a Live Phone Call service. So, you will have to get another Expert to fulfill this aspect of your service.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionI would be happy to call you but I need some clarification first.If the mother did not leave a Will why do you believe that your niece is entitled to a share of the property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mr Buachaill answered my questions. I do not require any more help at present.
How do I rate Mr Buachaill?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiJust as a recap.If the mother and father held the property jointly it is very very likely that in fact the ownership of the house passed automatically to the father and the property is his to do with as he wishes.You can check that by looking at the Land Registry deeds.In part B you are looking for these wordsRESTRICTION: No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the Registrar or the court.If those words are not there then the property now belongs to the father aloneThis may not be morally correct - but legally it is the law.If the words are there then the matter is dealt with as part of the mothers estateYou have said that there is no Will - but there is a Grant - which suggests that the father had to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration - which is what happens when there is no Will.Under the Intestacy laws the father received the first £125,000 of the estate (assuming she died before 2009) and a life interest in half the remainder.The other half of the remainder belongs to the daughter and can be protected if need be.You rate my colleague by clicking on his answer and pushing the appropriate option