How to Update Property Records After Someones Death in UK

Friends, the death of a loved one is a difficult time and involves many legal and administrative matters. One of the most important things is transferring the property in the name of the deceased to their heirs.

This process depends on many factors, such as whether the deceased was the sole owner or co-owner and where the property was located. In this post you will get detailed information on how to update property registration after death in England and Wales, please read our post till the end.

Determining Ownership: Joint vs. Sole

Before proceeding to transfer the deceased’s property to his heirs, it is important to understand how the property was owned. Below is a breakdown of the two scenarios:

1) Joint Ownership:

When two or more persons jointly own a property, they are called “Joint Owners”. In such cases, the following shall apply:

  • Equal Rights: All joint owners have equal rights over the property.
  • Transfer after death: On the death of a co-owner, their share automatically passes to the surviving co-owners. This is also known as “Survivorship Clause“.
  • Partition: Co-owners can divide the property by mutual consent.

2) Solo Ownership

When a sole proprietor dies, the property they own becomes their “Death Estate.” This means that it will now be distributed to the heirs according to their will, or if they have not written a will, will be distributed according to “Intestacy” law.

What is a letter of intent?

A will is a legal document in which a person determines what happens to their property after death. If you are a sole proprietor, it is important to have a will so that you can determine how your assets will be distributed after your death.

What is Intestacy Law?

If a person dies and doesn’t leave a will, their property is distributed according to “Intestacy” laws. These laws determine how a deceased person’s property will be distributed to their next of kin.

Checking Property Records – If you don’t know which name your property is owned in, you can check the property records held by HM Land Registry.

Updating Records for Deceased Joint Owner

If a co-owner of a property has died, the surviving co-owner must inform HM Land Registry. For this, you have to fill the DJP form, in which the deceased’s name is removed from the property registration book. Additionally, you must submit an official copy of the death certificate along with the completed form.

Updating Records for Deceased Sole Owner

When the sole owner of a property dies, the property is transferred to a beneficiary named in their will or to a third party. The transfer process and required documents depend on the intended recipient:

Transfer to Beneficiary:

Required Forms:

  • Change Registration: Form AP1
  • Full Registered Title: Consent: Form AS1

Required Documents:

  • Original or certified copy of letters of probate or administration issued in the UK.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) certificate or self-certificate. (Or Land Transaction Tax Certificate for property sold in Wales on or after 1 April 2018 if applicable.)
  • Fees: Check the HM Land Registry Fees Calculator.
  • Beneficiary Verification: The beneficiary must complete the “Verify Identity: Citizen” form (ID1). The person handling the transfer, if not the executor, must also complete this form.

Selling to a Third Party:

  • Transfer of Ownership: You need to transfer the ownership of the property in the name of the buyer.
  • Grant of Probate: If you are buying a property from a deceased person, you must provide the buyer with an official copy of the probate or letters of administration issued in the UK.

Supporting documents:

You also need to provide the following documents:

  • Original or certified copy of grant of probate (issued in the UK) or letters of administration.
  • SDLT certificate or self-certificate (or land transaction tax certificate if applicable).
  • Fees (Check Registry Fee Calculator)

Foreign Grant of Probate

If you have received a grant of probate or similar grant outside the UK, you have two options:

  • Apply for Probate in the UK: It’s easy and you get UK court approval.
  • “Reseal” a foreign grant of probate: You can use a foreign grant recognized by a UK court to apply to property in England and Wales.

Important Considerations

Friends, as mentioned above information about how to register property after death. Note that rules and procedures may vary depending on the complexity and value of the property.

Please note:

  • Every case is different and rules are subject to change.
  • A lawyer specializing in inheritance and property law can provide you with the right guidance for your specific situation.
  • Inheritance tax and capital gains tax may apply to assets after death so professional advice should be sought.
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