How to update property records after someone passes away

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When a loved one passes away, it’s fair to say that not only will you be dealing with the grief that comes as a result of losing someone close to you, but you’ll also have a lot of paperwork and other associated documents to deal with.

One of the important things you’ll need to deal with is updating the property records of someone’s house when they die. In our guide below, we take you through everything you need to know about updating property records after someone passes away, as well as how to change a deed when you inherit a property.

What happens to a property when someone dies?

When someone dies and there is a will in place, the executor of the will must apply for probate before the property is sold.

If the deceased’s property is to be sold, probate grants permission for the representative or executor of the will to sell the property within the terms of the deceased’s will.

What happens to the property and its records also depends on whether the homeowner was the sole owner of the property or whether they had joint ownership. If they were the sole owner of the property, then the executor of the will must Assent the property to the person or people who stand to inherit it (known as the beneficiaries of the will) or they will Transfer it to someone else, as per the wishes of the deceased laid out in the will.

On the other hand, the process can prove to be a little more complex if the deceased was a joint owner of the property. In this case, if their partner is still alive, they will usually just automatically inherit the whole of the property and they will simply need to register their partner’s death using a form known as a DJP, along with an official copy of their death certificate.

One important factor to note about updating property records after someone passes away and dealing with the deceased’s estate is that there is no immediate rush to organise things. You can start the process of dealing with the person’s estate several weeks after their death, so you don’t need to worry about doing it immediately after they die.

What happens to a house when the owner dies without a will?

When someone dies and they were a homeowner, it’s usually relatively simple to organise their properties deeds and get their estate affairs in order.

However, when someone dies without a will, it can prove to be a little trickier to get everything sorted and into place. 

When a person dies without having a will in place, there are several rules that must be adhered to known as the rules of intestacy. These rules state who stands to inherit what according to a sort of hierarchy depending on the deceased’s surviving relatives/spouse.

Instead of applying for probate, letters of administration will need to be acquired when a person dies with no will. The letters of administration grant an individual permission to deal with and manage a person’s estate if there was no will in place.

How to change a deed when you inherit property

If you’ve inherited property from a loved one, you will need to make the decision to either sell the property once you have been granted probate, or you may decide to live in the house and transfer the deeds to your name.

If you decide to keep the house that you’ve inherited you will need to follow several steps in order to make it officially yours.

Firstly, you’ll need to obtain official and legal ownership of the property that you’ve inherited. You can do this by applying for probate which gives you permission to transfer the property to your name or sell it if you wish.

If you decide to keep it, you’ll need to transfer the property records to your name and you can do this by filling in several forms known as an AP1 which allows you to change the homeowner on the register or the TP1 which allows you to transfer a registered property. 

Once you’ve done this and paid all the necessary legal fees, you will need to fill in an ID1 form that proves your identity when registering an application with the Land Registry and it must be signed by a solicitor. When these steps are complete, you will need to send everything to the Land Registry who will then transfer the property to your name in around 4-6 weeks.

Can a house stay in a deceased person's name?

Regardless of whether the homeowner was the sole owner of the house or was a joint owner with someone else, their property title will be transferred to someone else, either according to whomever they identified as their beneficiary/beneficiaries in their will or if they died without a will, it will pass onto someone according to the rules of intestacy.

There are no circumstances in which a house remains in the deceased’s name. 

How to remove a sibling from parents house?

When a loved one dies, it can stir up a lot of emotions and anguish, particularly between siblings if one person isn’t happy with the person that has been named as the executor of the will.

Dealing with sibling evictions when it comes to removing them from your parents’ house is a tricky subject to broach, especially if there are already tensions regarding the death of a parent/s. If you’ve been appointed as executor of your parent/s will, it is your legal duty and right to sell the property with or without your sibling’s consent and if they refuse to vacate the property, you may have to take the matter to court where it will then be resolved by the court issuing eviction papers and legal documents that may result in a trial if they still refuse to comply.


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