Father's Will

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shortpaul | 12:10 Sat 18th Sep 2021 | Law
6 Answers
I am a beneficiary of my father's estate. My father died c.4 yrs ago and his solicitor wrote and told of benefits due to me thru his will. I never saw his will or was given any breakdown of his assets. He part owned his home with his brother whom I was told paid half the value of the property with my father. No mention was made of the property by his solicitor at the time of my father's death presumably because my uncle was then and is now still alive. What is the best (most sensitive) way for me to clarify what the situation is regarding this property? My father spent the last couple of years of his life in a care home. However, I understand that the cost of this was met thru other assets of my father and an insurance policy. Will I have to go to his solicitor and clarify my status with regard to the property? Is there anywhere I can go to view his will?


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This will tell you if probate/will available & enable you to get a copy of the will - costs £1.75 I think.
Just to add - once probate is granted any will (except Royals!) becomes a public document that anyone can view.

There are two different ways in which two people can co-own a property:

If your father and his brother were 'tenants in common' then they each owned half of the property (unless they'd agreed on a different ratio) and, when your father died, his half would have formed part of his estate and should have been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of his will.

However if, as I suspect, they were 'joint tenants' then neither of them owned a share of the property. It was their partnership which owned all of it and, upon your father's death, his brother (as the surviving partner) would AUTOMATICALLY own the entire property outright. Nothing in your father's will could change that.

Given that the solicitor made no reference to the property when handling your father's estate, my guess is that it was because (through there being a joint tenancy) the property didn't form part of his estate but had simply passed, in its entirety, to your uncle.

As has been stated above, once a will has gone to probate it enters the public domain, with anyone able to obtain a copy of it. (Strictly speaking, it's the grant of probate that is the public document but that comes with the will attached anyway).

It might also be worth getting hold of a copy of the title register for the property. That's also in the public domain and will show who the registered owner is, as well as showing any charge registered against the property. The fee to obtain it is only £3:
I hope a wills lawyer will chip in - Barmaid
If you are the final beneficiary then you can ask the solicitor for an account of the distribution of the benefit

Strikes me the sensible thing is to get a copy of the will
see above

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