7. Property and bank accounts

Joint bank and savings accounts

Money in a joint bank account automatically passes to the other owners. Other bank accounts are part of the estate.

Property

What happens to the person’s property depends on how it was owned.

Joint tenancy

If the property was owned under a ‘joint tenancy’ (‘joint owners’ in Scotland), the deceased and the other owner both own the whole of the home. The surviving owner automatically inherits it.

Tenancy in common

If the property was owned under a ‘tenancy in common’ (‘common owners’ in Scotland and ‘coparceners’ in Northern Ireland), 2 or more people owned the home either in equal shares or a defined percentage.

The person’s will (or the law if there’s no will) decides who inherits their share.

Owned outright

The will(s) (or the law if there’s no will) decides who inherits property that is owned outright by the deceased.

Contact the mortgage company, Land Registry or get legal advice if you’re unsure how a property is owned.

Update Land Registry

Search the register to find out if a property’s registered in England and Wales.

You don’t have to do anything if there’s a surviving owner and the property isn’t registered.

Fill in an application to remove a deceased owner if the property’s registered.

Send your form to the Land Registry Citizen Centre.

Citizen Centre
PO Box 6350
Coventry
CV3 9LP

When there’s no surviving owner you can register or transfer property to a beneficiary if you have probate.