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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10257
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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It's regarding inheritance. My mother and father bought a

Customer Question

Hi it's regarding inheritance.
My mother and father bought a property in 1997. My mother passed away in 1998 and shortly after and my father met someone else and he has lived with this woman at this property until he passed away too in 2012. I am an only child and this woman has one son (not by my father). The agreement was that whether my father or her passes away first, the other partner is allowed to live at the property until they pass away at which point the property is divided half/half between myself and her son. This should have stipulated in my father's will. Due to various lies she told (it would cost several thousands to look at the will, my father's brother is allegedly an executor but also a potential beneficiary should anything happen to me which I know someone cannot be both etc.) I have now become suspicious and asked her to see a copy of the will which she refuses to do. She also refuses to tell me what solicitor is the will made with or where is it stored. How can I see this will? I am certain I am the beneficiary, have I not got the right to see it? I suspect this woman is trying to destroy it or alter it.
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: Would the above be enough?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for your enquiry.

I take it that you are wanting to see your Father's Will, as opposed to also seeing her Will?

I also take it that the Deeds tot he property were in the joint names of your Father and his partner?

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have now discovered she is on the land registry title since 2004 but I believe either as a joint tenant/tenant in common, I am not sure which one. There is a restriction on the title which says she is not allowed to dispose of the property unless authorised by a court order. I am guessing this would mean that to sell she would need my father's signature or as he is no longer here, the signature of the beneficiary of his will i.e. myself. Hence my suspicions that she is trying to destroy the will.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What I would like is to go with her and see the solicitor who has handled the whole affair (I believe my father's will and her will were done at the same time with the same solicitor) and to have it shown to me in black and white that once she passes away, I will indeed receive half of the property rather than all of it going to her son.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My father's name is ***** ***** on the land registry title, so I am guessing she took it off/it was taken off after he passed away.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Your father passed away in 2012?

What is the date shown on the land registry title deed of the date that she acquired the property?

Are you able to attach the page of the Land Registry title showing her name and the restriction?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi sorry my father passed away in 2013.
She appears to have been on the registry since 02/03/2004.
Please find attached.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When my father passed away, the last thing on my mind was inheritance or a will or anything like that. However with time, I've had reasons to start distrusting her hence my enquiries now.
I believe she was added to the title by my father in 2004 and since his passing, she has taken his name off - I understand a form needs to be filled and sent to Land registry, it's not something they automatically do when someone passes away.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

This is strange.

The property is in your late father’s partners s sole name and has been since 2004. And yet, your father died in 2013.

And yet it still has the tenants in common restriction on it.

If the property was held by your father and his partner in 2004 as tenants in common, then probate would have been needed in 2013 and your late father’s share of the property would have been transferred to siblings in 2013.

If, back in 2004 it was held as joint tenants, then probate is not needed as it passes to the survivor automatically.

What is unusual is that the property is insole name and has been since 2004 and yet there is a restriction which implies that there is an underlying trust.

I’m going to opt out of this for another expert who may be more experienced with this than I am but meanwhile, I’m going to run the scenario past a colleague to see if he has any idea what may have happened. He may not get back to me until tomorrow.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have checked on and no probate has been done for my father's will.
So I can only assume it was done as joint tenants (rather than tenants in common) in 2004 and it has been in both my father's and his partner's name until his passing. At that point she must have applied to the Land registry to have his name removed ( main problem is that she will not communicate - I need to see the solicitor who handled my father's will and find out what will happen with the property.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If the property was joint tenants from 2004, it doesn’t matter what your fathers will says, it passes to his partner under the right of survivorship. It is as simple as that. There is nothing to contest.

If you know who handled your father’s will, they will only speak to you if you were named as executor.

If there were no substantial assets other than the house and the house was joint tenants, there is no need for probate ever.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There were no other assets.
What happens when his partner passes away? Is she then free to leave the property to whoever she pleases (i.e. her son) ?
Would that restriction not stop her from doing that?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If the property is in her sole name because it was held with your late father as joint tenants, and she has inherited it under the right of survivorship, then it’s hers to do with as she wishes.

She can leave it at her children and cut you out completely and there is nothing that can be done about that.

Your late father could have resolved all this by doing the will which he may have done and if he did, where it fell down is that he didn’t let his executors and children know of its existence where it is so that they could go and get it.

It’s rather academic now.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just so I am 100% clear could you please be so kind to confirm the two statements below are correct:
1. Even if I see the will and the will states my father is leaving half the property to me, it is worthless because the law of survivorship overrides it.
2. The restriction on the title deeds is also worthless because my father's name is ***** ***** on title deeds.Many thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You have given me wrong and misleading information
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The restriction should be entered whenever two or more persons are registered as joint proprietors of a registered estate, except where either:
- they are beneficial joint tenants (because when only one is left, the trust will have come to an end )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this is from the Gov/uk website
therefore they cannot be joint tenants