If you have just inherited a property following the death of its previous owner, you might be uncertain what exactly you are legally required to do next. You might even become fretful as a result of this; after all, how can you make sure that you are covering all of the necessary bases?
While it’s true that you do have a lot to sort out, we also want to reassure you that you don’t have to rush with it – and that the following tips can help you in ticking many of the vital boxes.
The Land Registry can help
In an article on the Land Registry’s blog, Adam, a Customer Service Representative at the government body, has noted that it is not necessary to rush whatever decisions are made following the inheritance of a property. In fact, such decisions are often tackled several weeks following the previous owner’s death and the reading of the will. However, knowledge is power, so the saying goes – and you will be able to stay cool, calm and collected by cluing yourself up on how to make these decisions well before the actual crunch time comes.
The need to obtain Probate
Indeed, before you can actually do anything, you might have to obtain what is known as Probate. Nonetheless, it isn’t necessary in all cases – so, you should contact the Probate Service to check whether it would be for you. They can also inform you how long the process would take.
In your case, you have probably inherited a property due to the deceased having, in their will, named you as the person to sort out their estate. On the other hand, maybe there wasn’t a will, and the estate has fallen to you due to having been the deceased’s next of kin. Whichever of these situations applies to you, once you have obtained Probate and, therefore, the right to sell or transfer the property, you will need to think carefully about your next move…
Selling or transferring the property
Should the property be set for sale, then the Probate will allow you to sell it according to the will’s terms. On the other hand, should the property be registered, with the deceased having been its sole owner, there could be the option of transferring the building to someone else. If the deceased had joint ownership and the other owner is still living, you would typically simply register the death with the Land Registry through lodging a form DLP and an official Probate copy or death certificate.
You might not need to get in touch with the Land Registry if the property is both registered and to be sold, as Probate will give you the right to sell the property. The process of selling that property can be less confusing when you turn to the company Probate Purchasers, which specialises in dealing with probate properties and, therefore, can help you with getting that home sold quickly in order to lessen your current financial obligations.