- MAKING A WILL
- Lasting Powers Of Attorney
- PROPERTY TRUST
Many couples believe they own 50% of their property each, and so upon death wish to leave their half to their partner their children or other chosen beneficiaries.
In fact, the majority of homes are actually owned as 'Joint Tenants', which effectively means each spouse/partner owns 100%.
So when one spouse/ partner dies the surviving spouse/partner automatically becomes the sole owner. This may be okay as you wanted your spouse /partner
to inherit, but if you wanted your children from a previous relationship to inherit this will leave you no choices to whom you would like to leave your
share to in your Will, as your spouse/partner will automatically inherit the whole of the property.
It is possible, however, to own a specific percentage of the property and this is known as 'Tenants in Common'. Typically it would be on a 50/50 basis, but it does not have to be this way it could be 70/30 basis if one spouse /partner has deposited a greater share into the property than the other.
Why "Tenants in Common"?
If you wanted to avoid your share of the property, after your death, from being lost to your partner's new spouse and your children disinherited or possibly being swallowed up by expensive care costs, you have the ability to leave your share of the property to whomever you wish to, but you would have to be 'Tenants in Common' to achieve this.
Making the change
Making the change from Joint Tenancy to Tenants in Common is a fairly straightforward procedure and a service that we provide at Parks Wills & Estate Planning. Changing the way you own your property, does not affect your ability to sell the property. (It is worth noting that some equity release providers will not accept tenants in common)
What is a Protected Property Trust
Incorporating a Protected Property trust into your Wills, firstly the property must be owned as "Tenants in Common". Each spouse/partner leaves their share of the property (usually 50%) in trust for their children or other beneficiaries rather than to their surviving spouse/partner.
This means that the surviving spouse/partner never becomes sole owner of the property, they only own their 50% which prevents the whole value of the property being calculated in possible future assessment of assets should the surviving spouse/partner require long term care. Therefore the most that could be claimed against the value of the property is the surviving spouse's share which would only be 50% of the property.
The Protected Property Trust also safeguards the interests of the surviving spouse/partner, by ensuring that the surviving spouse/partner has the right to live in the property as if they owned it entirely without payment of rent for their lifetime. The trust also gives flexibility for the surviving spouse/partner to move home, buy, sell, upgrade or down size within their life time. The property cannot be sold without the agreement of the Trustees and the surviving spouse/partner. After the surviving spouse/partner dies their share will be distributed to their chosen beneficiaries (usually the children) in accordance with their wishes.
Contact us now to arrange a free, no obligation consultation Tel: 01507 609684 or alternatively 07506 312073.