Assent of property describes the process of transferring ownership of a property from a deceased person to a new owner.
Assent of property is different from a transfer of equity or a conveyance because only property in the estate of a deceased person can be assented. Assents are effectively a gift from the estate and have no value. There cannot be any payment or part payment in return for the property: this would make it a purchase or transfer of equity.
Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common
If the property is held as a joint tenancy and one person dies, ownership passes to the surviving owner automatically. For registered properties, you can apply to the Land Registry to have the title updated. If the property is not registered a death certificate will need to be placed with the deeds. We can help you with this if needed.
If there are no surviving owners or the deceased was a Tenant in Common, then the deceased’s will determines what happens. Normally, wills nominate one or more personal representatives who will handle the dealings of the estate. The personal representative will need to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. Once the Grant has been obtained, they will have the legal authority to deal with the property. This includes sale or assenting it to beneficiaries. If there is no will, intestacy rules apply.
How to Assent
When someone dies, they remain on the title of any property they owned. The Land Registry needs evidence that the person has died in order to remove them from the title.
You must complete a deed of assent. The Assent, along with other relevant documents, must be sent to the Land Registry for registration.