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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Suppose, in the process of genealogy research I discover that

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Suppose, in the process of genealogy research I discover that a person has moved in with an elderly widow who own the property, that died a couple of years later. There is has been no application for a grant of probate for her estate and no will. That person has since taken possession of the property. I then discover that the same person has since taken up residence with another elderly widow and owner of a property, claiming, falsely, to be her nephew. She has died and after 9 years there has still been no application for a grant of probate and again that same person has taken up possession of the property. He now appears to be making free use of those properties and no transfers show in the Land Registry. Has an offense been committed. If so what offense and is it my obligation, moral or otherwise, to report it and to who.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help youUnless you can prove that this person in some way misled the elderly ladies involved then he has committed no crime - and "nephew" is often used to denotesomeone who is treated as a family member, but is not actually related.There is no legal obligation on you to ocntact the family members regarding the house - nor any moral obligation as such.Of course if you hear of his moving in with another elderly lady then it would be proper to report the matter to Social Services - but that is moral not legal.Please ask if you need further detailsClare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The situation that caused me concern was that he has taken possession of two properties with no legal title. There seems to be no wills and if so being intestate, these properties should be in the hands of blood relations, or failing that be declared bona vacantia. Is this not misappropriation or fraud? At the very least it seems to be avoidance of IHT.
Rob Marsden
It will only amount to that if he tries to actually take over ownership which he cannot do without Letters of Administration being issued - which he cannot apply for as he is not related!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the reply. A search has shown that no application has been made for letters of administration, or an application for a grant of probate in either case. In the first case he has occupied the property since 1975 and has made extensive alterations (no planning application has been made). He has occupied, and been resident at the second property since 2007 and made changes, like adding a downstairs bathroom. That seems to me to come within the realm of misappropriation. The land registry shows no change from the original ownership from the original owners in this time span. I'd guess the combined value of the properties is around £750,000.
Unless and until he makes the application to Change the Register (not possible unless there are Letters of Administration) then he owns nothingIf you wish to take action then you should find the relatives and notify them!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Clare
"If you wish to take action then you should find the relatives and notify them!" I'll give that some thought. It was looking for one of the relatives, for other reasons that revealed this tale. I may yet discover some of the relatives still alive.
Thanks again.
I hope that goes well