My mother has recently died. She was the owner of the freehold interest in the property but on receipt of the Title Deeds we note that the original leasehold interest remains in the sole name of my late father who died 10 years ago. What do we need to do?
South Wales has a number of properties that were originally leasehold but as the years have passed occupiers have purchased the freehold interest.
It is often the case that on acquiring the freehold the freehold title will be registered separately to avoid having to merge the two interests and pay a higher Land Registry fee. This gives rise to potential difficulties if the property was originally in the sole name of one only of the spouses.
In this case that spouse has since died and the surviving spouse has purchased the freehold interest in her sole name. This leaves the freehold interest in the wife’s name and the leasehold interest in the late husband’s name.
A Grant of Representation will be required for each Estate in order to properly deal with the interests in the property that the respective spouses owned. This will deal with the deceased husband’s leasehold interest in the property. It will not take too long, but will inevitably delay any on-going sale.
It may be that the executors of each spouse’s Will may be the same and accordingly a Grant of Representation to each Estate can be obtained by the same individual.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Director of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org