How to Transfer Ownership of a Property after Death

Author:
Clare Fleming
Partner, Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitor
Date:
28/01/2020

After the death of a relative or friend, it may be necessary for you to sell or transfer ownership of their property, if you are their Personal Representative. The process of transferring property ownership In England and Wales will ultimately depend on how the property was owned. The person who died will either have owned their home:

  • In their sole name, or
  • Jointly with another person as joint tenants or tenants in common

Transferring the ownership of a property can be stressful at what is already a difficult time, but our Probate Solicitors can help you through the process.

Get in touch for free initial legal advice.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Sole Ownership

If the person who died owned their home in their sole name, it may or may not be registered with the Land Registry. You can check on their website, but this is a paid service.

If your friend or relative left a Will before they died, the Executor or Administrator of the Will has to transfer the property over to the named beneficiary in the Will. They can only do this once the Grant of Probate has been issued.

If they didn’t make a Will, the Rules of Intestacy will apply. These rules outline who can inherit from an estate if they didn’t make a Will. Again, you won’t be allowed to transfer the property until the Grant of Letters of Administration have been issued.

Both a Grant of Probate and Grant of Letters of Administration are collectively known as a Grant of Representation. As long as you have one of these documents granted by the Probate Registry, you can make an application to transfer the property at HM Land Registry.

The Process

The Personal Representative has to submit documents to HM Land Registry to transfer the property ownership. Before HM Land Registry can carry out the transfer, you will need to complete and send these documents:

  • Whole of registered title: Assent (form AS1). This form confirms that you approve the transfer of the property to the beneficiary.
  • Change the Register (form AP1). This simply updates the register.
  • A sealed or certified copy of the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration

The Grant of Representation notifies HM Land Registry that the Personal Representative of the deceased has the authority to transfer the property ownership to someone else. If this isn’t sent, any agreed sale of the property could fall through in the future should the beneficiary wish to sell the property.

Joint Ownership

There are two ways to jointly own a property. They are:

  • Joint Tenants
  • Tenants in Common

Joint Tenants

If you own your property with someone else, when one of you dies, the other will automatically inherit the property. This is known as the Right of Survivorship. As the other owner of the property, you will need to ask HM Land Registry to update their records to reflect this change. 

You can do this by completing the Deceased Joint Proprietor form. Once complete, you should send it to the Land Registry with a copy of the death certificate.

Tenants in Common

If the property was owned as Tenants in Common, the share of the property owned by the deceased will either pass under the terms of the Will or the Intestacy Rules.

Owning a property as tenants in common means that each owner held a separate share of the property which can be left under the terms of their Will. 

If they didn’t leave a Will, the Rules of Intestacy will apply and their share of the property will pass to their nearest relative which is determined by these rules.

Why Choose Simpson Millar?

Transferring a property after someone has died can be complicated and time-consuming. Our experienced team of Probate Solicitors help people just like you every day and will make the process as easy as possible.

Call one of our experienced Probate Solicitors today who are happy to help you.

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