What to do When a Property Owner Dies
When a death occurs within a close family unit or group of friends, technicalities and legalities are the last thing the bereaved wish to be troubled with. At this difficult time, the matter of property ownership and approaches to the individuals’ belongings need to be taken into account, despite the ongoing struggle to come to terms with what has happened. The team at A1 Homebuyers have put together a simple list to assist those who are currently navigating this difficult period in their lives.
Did the property owner bequeath their home or land to a friend or relative in their will? To find out, the first thing to do is get in touch with an appointed executor of the said will and arrange to have it read. If you predict any conflicts involving the property, it is definitely worth hiring a lawyer or solicitor to advise. If the deceased did not leave a will, an “administrator” must be appointed. This can be arranged in court. This is referred to as dying “intestate”, and, in this situation, a close relative has the legal right to make arrangements for the division of the estate. In this eventuality, it is definitely best to hire legal aid. A grant of representation may be required if the deceased owned a large amount of property.
Utilities and mortgage provider companies that serve the residence owned by the deceased should be notified of their passing as soon as possible so that all accounts can be closed and no further automatic payments can be taken. The same approach should be taken for the likes of council tax. The deceased may have been due to fill out a self-assessment form or may be due a tax rebate, so it is worth checking this on their behalf. These types of matters must be settled before the estate is divided.
If the deceased lived with other people with joint ownership, their share of the property automatically passes on to, and is divided between, the other residents. Written evidence of the ownership arrangement must be produced to confirm how the property was divided if ownership was not split evenly.
Selling the Property
If it is decided that the property will be sold by the relevant beneficiaries, any profit that is made must be declared and may be subject to “Gains Tax”. This is only payable if the gain above the market value at the date of death exceeds the current Capital Gains Tax threshold.
How long can I take?
Will executors or administrators are given one year from the date of death to bring the estate to order, after which, you may be required to pay interest on any remaining assets.
If you need to sell a property after the owner’s death, get a FREE CASH OFFER from A1 Homebuyers today. If you need any help or advice, please call us today on 0345 055 8468, and our friendly and understanding team will do their very best to help you.