Episode four of Legal NI, a case study podcast by McCartan Turkington Breen Solicitors
Annie contacted McCartan Turkington Breen to assist with the sale of her deceased son’s property. She was selling the house in her capacity as Personal Representative of her son’s estate. To do so, Annie had obtained the Grant of Letters of Administration in her son’s estate prior to instructing our firm. This Grant allowed her to instruct Marie-Anne McVeigh to represent her in the sale.
We assisted Annie with a Northern Ireland property sale following the passing of her son
Unfortunately, the title deeds for the property could not be located by the previous solicitor instructed to act in the sale. Marie-Anne began an in-depth investigation which included obtaining some property searches that led to the discovery that the deeds were being held by Danske Bank.
Several problems were presented throughout the conveyancing case
Upon review of the unregistered title documentation, it became clear that the front 1/3 portion of the property was registered in favour of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) in error. The front 1/3 was registered at Land Registry under a large NIHE folio. We liaised with NIHE about the error. NIHE confirmed that it was indeed and error and agreed to execute a deed to transfer the 1/3 portion of the property to our client as personal representative in the estate of her son. The front 1/3 portion was registered land so the transfer from NIHE to our client was a transfer of registered land. This meant that the sale of the property included a 2/3 portion of unregistered land and a 1/3 portion of registered land.
Annie passed away before the property sale completed
Annie became very ill during the sale process and sadly passed away before the house sale completed. Her deceased son died intestate. This is when someone passes away without a will. Annie did have a will which appointed her daughter as executor of her estate. Because her son died without a will there was no chain of executorship which would have allowed her daughter to take over and complete the sale. Because there was no chain of executorship, Annie’s daughter had to acquire legal authority to complete the sale of the property by other means. She first had to apply for a Grant of Probate in her mother’s estate. Once the Grant was issued, this allowed her to apply for what is known as a De Bonis Non Grant. The De Bonis Non Grant was a limited Grant which allowed Annie’s daughter to deal with any remaining estate of her brother that had not been administered by Annie prior to her passing. In this instance, the property.
Marie-Anne solved the various problems and brought the sale to completion
The De Bonis Non Grant allowed Annie’s daughter to sign the documentation required to effect the legal transfer of title to the purchasers. This documentation consisted of a contract for sale as well as a Transfer Deed (for the 1/3 registered portion of ground) and a Deed of Assignment (for the 2/3 unregistered portion of ground).
The clients and their families understood how complex the issues arising in the matter were and were grateful for Marie-Anne’s help in navigating them through the complexities and on to the eventual completion of sale.
Our conveyancing department can assist you too
If you wish to buy or sell a property, our conveyancing solicitors are available to advise. You can learn more about our services at Property & Conveyancing or Contact Us for a free, no commitment exploratory chat.
This case highlights the importance of having a will in place. If you don’t have a will and would like to enquire about making one, visit Making a Will.