Keeping your house in order

This case illustrates the importance of documenting the basis of joint ownership of a property (i.e. joint tenants or tenants in common) when it comes to inheritance claims.

Widow awarded £80,000 from brother-in-law’s inheritance

Beneficiary that inherited a one-half beneficial interest in a house by survivorship, is ordered to return £80,000 in equity to the estate of his dead brother.

In the recent High Court case of Beg v Beg, 2021 EWHC 2598 Ch, the deceased Ehsan Beg left a will bequeathing his estate in full to his wife Amina Beg. Following Ehsan’s death a dispute arose regarding the family home that Ehsan and Amina lived in before his death, as it was registered to Ehsan and his brother Arif Beg. The house had been owned by Ehsan and Arif’s mother until she died in 2009, but clarification around whether the brothers held the property as beneficial joint tenants or as beneficial tenants-in-common, was missing.