My parents made tax efficient Wills five years ago involving the Severance of their Joint Tenancy. Two years ago they moved to South Wales and my father has since died. How can I find out whether they own their home as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.
Critically, if your parents owned their previous property as Tenants in Common following the Severance of their Joint Tenancy at the time of making their Wills, it is of course essential that they also own the South Wales property as Tenants in Common.
Having only recently moved, it is very easy to find out how they own the current property by inspecting the registered titles of the property by obtaining official copies of the Register from the Land Registry.
If your parents own the property as Joint Tenants then there will be no Restriction entered on the Register preventing the disposition of the property by a sole survivor of the two of them.
If the property is owned as Tenants in Common there will be a Restriction entered on the Register preventing the disposition by a sole proprietor. In other words, the surviving spouse alone is unable to sell the property as a buyer will need to obtain the receipt of two Trustees for any purchase monies.
This means that your late father’s Executor will step into your late father’s shoes and sell the property along with your mother in the event of any future sale, or if your mother chooses to continue to live at the property for some years your late father’s share will pass to his Trustees on trust for the residuary beneficiaries, usually the children.