Call me back, please

How To Divide An Estate Between Siblings In UK?

Property Saviour » Inherited Property » How To Divide An Estate Between Siblings In UK?

Dividing an estate between siblings in the UK can be complex and emotionally charged.

Inheriting property from a deceased loved one often involves legal, financial, and personal considerations. This comprehensive guide will cover managing and potentially selling an inherited property, addressing issues such as heirlooms, bills, trusts, Wills, disputes, and obtaining the necessary legal documents.

Table of Contents

How to divide an estate between siblings in the UK?

An executor should meet all beneficiaries in person and share a copy of the Will. This is likely to be an emotionally charged meeting, so it is important to have an agenda and answer any questions with empathy. Any disagreements can result in expensive solicitors.

We must do all we can to keep solicitors out of the picture, as it will introduce delays and potentially, all beneficiaries will be worse off financially.

Get a family mediator, a friend or a colleague who all beneficiaries respect to attend the meeting.  Distances can be an issue, so you can use Google Meet, Zoom or Microsoft Teams to have a video call with everyone.

Understanding the Legal Framework

To set realistic expectations, everyone must understand the legal framework, as the process can take several months to complete.

  • Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration: These legal documents grant the executor or administrator the authority to manage and distribute the deceased’s estate. 
  • Wills and intestacy laws: If the deceased left a valid Will, it outlines their wishes to distribute their assets. In the absence of a Will, intestacy laws dictate how the estate is divided among surviving relatives.
  • Trusts and their implications: Some estates may involve trusts, which can have specific rules and requirements for managing and distributing assets held within them.
how to divide an inherited estate between siblings in UK
We need to all we can to avoid expensive and lengthy disputes as solicitors will be ultimate winners if that is the case!

Managing the Property

The executor will be responsible for maintaining the property, paying for any essentials, and keeping a record of receipts. It is a good idea to share expenses with beneficiaries on a monthly basis.

  • Maintaining the property during the probate process: It’s essential to ensure the inherited property is properly maintained, including paying utility bills, arranging for necessary repairs, and securing the premises.
  • Handling utility bills and ongoing expenses: Siblings must coordinate and agree on how to cover ongoing expenses, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance premiums until the property is sold or transferred.
  • Securing the property and protecting its value: Taking steps to secure it, such as changing locks, removing valuable items, and addressing any safety or security concerns, can help preserve its value during the probate process.

Selling the Inherited Property

You will have obtained valuations from estate agents; however, HMRC only accepts valuations from an accredited RICS surveyor.

You might wonder why the taxman doesn’t trust estate agents. Their valuations are their opinion, and estate agents don’t need any qualifications to become one!

Estate agents tend to overvalue properties to win your business, and you could end up overpaying inheritance tax if, later on, the property sells for much less, for example, and you find it had subsidence that wasn’t spotted by any estate agent.

 

Here’s a table presenting the pros and cons of different sale methods for an inherited property:

 

Sale MethodProsCons
Estate Agent– Likely to achieve close to market value
– Can market the property while waiting for probate
– Delays and uncertainty over several months
– Potential for abortive sales
– Legal fees incurred
– Sale might collapse due to lender requirements
Auctioneer– Quicker sale than estate agent (up to 3 months)– Upfront fees (entry fee, solicitor fees, search fees)
– Tied up for 30 days post-auction with low likelihood of sale
– Risk of undervaluing the property if low guide price and few bidders
Property Saviour– Quick private sale in 10 days or at your preferred timescale
– £1,500 contribution towards legal fees
– No other fees
– Likely to achieve around 70% of market value as they aim to make a profit

Resolving Disputes

While the process of dividing an inherited estate should ideally be harmonious, disagreements can arise over the division of assets, particularly if the Will is ambiguous or perceived as unfair. 

Dividing an inherited estate between siblings can be a minefield of potential conflicts. Even the closest of families can find themselves at odds when it comes to distributing assets and personal belongings. Let’s look into some common scenarios that can lead to disputes and explore practical solutions to avoiding confrontational situations:

1. Sibling Disagreements over Asset Distribution: Imagine a scenario where your late father’s Will stipulates that his prized vintage car collection should be divided equally among his three children. While the monetary value may be equal, one sibling might feel worse off because they were the ones who helped restore and maintain the cars over the years. A practical solution could be to give them a higher share for their contribution.

2. Challenging the Validity of a Will: Your mother’s Will leaves the family home to your younger brother while you and your sister receive a smaller portion of the estate. Suspecting undue influence from your brother, you decide to contest the Will’s validity.  Mediation can also help resolve disputes before escalating to costly legal battles.

3. Conflicts over Personal Belongings: Your late grandmother’s antique jewellery box has been a source of contention among you and your cousins since childhood. Each of you has fond memories of playing dress-up with her treasured pieces. To avoid a full-blown feud, consider implementing a fair system, such as taking turns selecting items or enlisting an impartial third party to oversee the division process.

4. Disputes over Property Management: Your father’s lakeside cabin has been in the family for generations, but you and your siblings can’t seem to agree on how to manage its upkeep during the probate process. One practical solution could be to designate a single point of contact responsible for coordinating maintenance and expenses while keeping all siblings informed and involved in decision-making.

5. Differing Priorities and Timelines: While you’re eager to sell your mother’s city apartment to settle her outstanding debts, your brother wants to hold onto it as an investment property. Compromise is key in such situations – perhaps you could agree to rent out the property for a set period, allowing your brother to benefit from potential appreciation while also generating income to address immediate financial obligations.

6. Unresolved Family Dynamics: Years of sibling rivalry or strained relationships can resurface during the estate division process, making it challenging to reach amicable agreements. In these cases, seeking professional mediation or counselling can be invaluable. An impartial third party can help facilitate productive discussions, identify underlying issues, and guide you towards a resolution that preserves familial bonds.

Remember, open communication, empathy, and a willingness to compromise are the cornerstones of a successful estate division process. By understanding potential conflicts early on and actively seeking practical solutions, you can ensure that your loved one’s legacy is honoured in a respectful and harmonious manner.

Dividing the Estate

  • Equal distribution among siblings: Without specific instructions in the Will, the estate is typically divided equally among surviving siblings.
  • Accounting for specific bequests or trusts: If the Will outlines specific bequests or establishes trusts, these must be honoured and accounted for in the distribution process.
  • Considering tax implications and liabilities: The distribution of assets may have tax implications, such as inheritance tax or capital gains tax, which must be carefully calculated and addressed.

 

Here’s a table illustrating the potential distribution of an inherited property valued at £500,000 among three siblings, with additional considerations:

SiblingShare (Equal Distribution)Potential Considerations
Sibling A£166,666.67Responsible for property maintenance during probate, inherited personal belongings
Sibling B£166,666.67Responsible for settling outstanding debts or taxes, specific bequest outlined in Will
Sibling C£166,666.67Inherited family heirlooms, responsible for coordinating property sale
how long does land registry take to transfer ownership
It is easy to get carried away with a refurbishment and before you know it, you've made property much worst than it was!

Key Benefits of Selling to Property Saviour

One way you can avoid potential disputes is to get all siblings to agree to a fast sale. The longer the sale drags on, the more likely you will end up with new disputes or challenges.

Dealing with a loved one’s estate, including an inherited property, can be an emotional rollercoaster. We get it – the last thing you need is added stress and uncertainty on top of everything else.

That’s why our team at Property Saviour is here to lend a helping hand and make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible. We understand you’re going through a tough time, and we want to take some of the weight off your shoulders.

Here’s how we can help:

– No estate agents or valuations are needed, so you can skip the back-and-forth.
– No surveys are required, making things nice and straightforward.
– We stand by the agreed price, with no last-minute changes or surprises.
– Transparent process with real reviews from sellers just like you.
– We’ll cover at least £1,500 of your legal fees, giving you one less thing to worry about financially.

Selling a property after losing someone close can feel like a massive burden, both emotionally and logistically. But you don’t have to go through it alone.

Reach out to Property Saviour today, and let our team guide you through this challenging period with compassion and expertise. We’ll be by your side every step of the way, ensuring a smooth transition while honouring your loved one’s legacy.

No more sleepless nights stressing about the details – leave it to us, and focus on taking care of yourself and your family during this difficult time.

Sell with certainty & speed

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
calculator

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
Sell

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
Share This Article:

Related Articles