How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23353
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Type Your Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now

My husband past away on the 2.11.2019 leaving me and 2

This answer was rated:

Good morning. My husband past away on the 2.11.2019 leaving me and 2 children under 10. House we live in is registered under his name and I am not sure what is the next step I need to take? Do I need to apply for probate? The house was worth 225k when we bought it but now it may be over the 325k. Thank you
Assistant: Where is your husband? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: West Sussex, Bognor Regis
Assistant: What steps has your husband taken so far?
Customer: what do you mean? He didn’t leave any will
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don’t think so, thank you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If I need to apply for a probate can I do it myself or do I have to contact a solicitor? I won’t be selling the house or any of my husbands assets. Is there any inheritance tax to pay? Thank you

If the house is in your late husband’s name, then you do need to make an application for probate although if your husband did not leave a will, and although the process is the same, you are actually applying for Letters of Administration. The effect is the same. Some reading for you:

There is absolutely no reason why you cannot DIY and save a whole load of money. A lot of it is just a paper gathering exercise.

The deal with it, a bit at a time and start with the application to the Probate registry.

As your husband died intestate (without leaving a will) then under the rules of intestacy you get the first GBP250,000 worth of the estate +50% of the remainder and the children get the balance of the remainder. Those rules are written in stone.

There is no inheritance tax between husband and wife so you can forget that. You will still need to fill in an inheritance tax form but you can rely on the spouse exemption.

Just deal with it, as I said earlier, one bit at a time. At the moment, it will seem like a mountain to climb but just take one step after the other.

If I have answered your question for you, at the top of the page, you should see a rating facility. Can you please rate my reply 3 stars or more because that really helps me? Please note you are not rating whether it’s favourable, because sometimes you may not get the answer you want, but basically my knowledge and way of dealing.

The thread does not close and I am happy to answer any questions you may have arising from this.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you very much for the explanation, it’s very clear. I am just wondering, when the house is not being sold how do I pass the % on to my children?

If there is not enough cash to pay the children, the house gets sold.

There is no need to do that until the children reach 18 because you can hold their share of the estate on trust until then.

Thereafter, the children can agree what they like including letting you live in the house although if one wants the money, you will have to pay that one off.

If the money remains invested in the house, they would be entitled to any increase in value of their share.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you very much for the information. I will rate you 5 stars as it was very helpful.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
One more question, I do apologise. What if the house will be rented? Do I have to put some % of the monthly rent to children’s accounts?

The children’s percentage of the property vests in them at the date of death and their share of the property has to be treated as their own. Hence, if you get rental income, it is applied to the children in the same proportion as the house if the house is the only asset.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Does it mean I have to open bank accounts for them both and send monthly payments in there? Or is somebody else going to look after that money? Thank you

You are the next-of-kin and it comes down onto your toe unless you want to appoint someone else to do it but beware of getting solicitors or professional trustees to do it because if they do, the administration fee can often gobble up all the money.

You would need to open a trust account in each of the children’s names because that ring fences the money to them if ever you, for example, were to go bankrupt or have financial problems.

It is such a shame that your late husband did not write a will because he could simply have done a very very basic will, just leaving everything to you and you wouldn’t have had any of these interest problems because everything would have been yours.

Stuart J and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you very much for all you help and advice.