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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10262
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My mother has died. I have three siblings one of which still

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My mother has died. I have three siblings one of which still lives in my late mothers house. He is 52 and financially independent. I have discovered that 4 1/2 years ago my mother put the house in hers and my brothers name as joint tenancy. Also the freehold was bought at the same time for £7,000 most likely paid for my brother. As siblings we are not close. My brother and I previously had a business partnership which I wanted to leave and he refused to buy me out so I ended up signing it over to him and walking away with nothing. Am I correct in thinking I cannot have a claim on the house inheritance? My two sisters are not worried about getting anything so I suspect they may have an agreement with my brother that when he sells the house they will get a proportion. There was no will when my dad died ten years ago, according to my sister there is one now. I get the feeling this has been orchestrated by my brother so that I do not benefit. My mother and I had no falling out and this is not what she would have wanted. I am reasonably sure she did not realise what putting the house in my brothers name would have meant. I have yet to see the will. My mother was diagnosed with dementia three years ago. Can they legally do this and do I have a leg to stand on in a claim of the estate?

I’m sorry to have to tell you that if the property was in joint names as joint tenants with your brother and your mother dies, then it passes automatically to your brother under the right survivorship. The only time that you or your sisters would have a claim is that if you could prove some kind of influence by your brother which coerced your mother into transferring the property into her name brother’s name.

It was Tenants in Common, then your brother retains his half and your mother’s half passes in accordance with her will, if there was a will, or intestacy if no will.

If have the land Registry title deed, for a restriction under section B: Proprietorship Register which starts, “No disposition by a sole proprietor…” Which will indicate that it is tenants in common and hence, you will be entitled to a share. If that restriction is not there, then it’s joint tenants and your brother now owns the whole property.

If your mother was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, and this was 4.5 years ago it’s unlikely, unless you have medical evidence as to her mental state not being good, 4.5 years ago that you could prove that she didn’t have capacity.

Further, if your brother did pay £7000 towards the property, that would account for why your mother transferred it into joint names same time.

Based upon what you’ve said here I think claim against the property under the circumstances is going to be difficult.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for clarifying that and for providing a succinct answer.