Property Ownership & Property Protection in Wills
The way property assets you own such as your family home and / or rental property are dealt with in your Will is vital, and at Assurewills we specialise in providing the advice you need to ensure the best level of protection is provided for your family and your property.
How Is Your Property Owned?
As a property is often the major asset owned, certain property related issues should be considered as part of the Will drafting and estate planning process.
A property can be owned jointly by two or more people in one of two ways - either as joint tenants or as tenants in common. When a Will is being drafted the distinction between the two can be very important.
The most common arrangement for property ownership between couples.
As joint tenants of a property, the death of one spouse or partner results in his or her interest in the property immediately passing to the surviving spouse or partner, and this cannot be prevented by any reference to the property or direction in the Will.
Tenants in Common:
If a couple own a property as tenants in common, then they both have a defined share in the property (usually 50/50). Property owned in this way does not pass automatically to a surviving spouse or partner on first death; his or her share will pass to whoever is specified in their Will.
Estate Planning Options:
As joint tenants, the ownership of your property on first death automatically reverts outright to your spouse/partner, and therefore the estate planning options for your property asset(s) within your Will is limited.
With tenants in common ownership, each couple's share in the property can be specifically directed by their Will, which may be away from the survivor. By the use of a Will Trust, this share of the property can be protected or 'ring fenced' for children or other beneficiaries, whilst the surviving spouse or partner still retains full rights to live in the property, and to move home or 'downsize' the property if desired.
With this type of planning, a share in the property can be protected from possible long term care assessment, or from the threat of a new partner/spouse, thereby ensuring that it does ultimately pass down to your desired beneficiaries.
We are able to offer advice on the options open to you to achieve your aims, and if advisable arrange for the necessary changes to your property ownership.
If you have any questions in respect of the above please contact us and we will be happy to help.
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