Assent of Property and Letters of Administration

A client has requested I assent a property to him following the death of his parents.

The property is held in joint names of the parents subject to a Form A restriction. Parents had severed their joint interests. Dad’s will left Mum a life interest in his one half of the property. On Mum’s death his one half was to pass to the two sons of the couple in equal shares. Mum was already in care at the time when Dad made his will.

One of the two sons passed away in between Mum and Dad. He died intestate leaving no spouse or children. Technically, his beneficial share reverted back to Mum at that point. No Letters of Admin have been taken out for his estate.

Mum died last year. She also died intestate. Her share in the property (3/4 share at the time of her death) passes to the surviving son. The surviving son has therefore inherited the entire property.

In terms of Land Registry requirements, I understand that they will remove Dad’s name from the title (subject to sight of his Death Certificate). In order to remove the restriction, they will require completion of ST5 and RX3. The application will then be made on AS1. Therefore, Letters of Admin will be required for Mum’s estate.

My query is whether my client needs to go to the expense of obtaining Letters of Administration to his brother’s estate. In terms of due diligence, should I ensure that we have this or can I make the application for the surviving son on the basis of sight of the deceased brother’s Death Certificate? I know the family having made the will for the Dad and having dealt with several other matters on their behalf. Would there be any exposure to risk without having LOA to brother’s estate or any other issues?

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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If it all goes wrong and a claim arises, your PI insurer will want to know how things got to that stage.

Perhaps your insurer’s view might be sought, to see if it would be comfortable with the risk.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals