Severance will, Severing joint tenancy will, Joint tenancy wills variation act
Alder Wills

Severance of Joint Tenancy

Joint Tenants, or Tenants in Common?

The laws of inheritance don't always work as we might expect. A critical issue is exactly how your house is owned.

Many people own a house together - but at Joint Tenants, or Tenants in Common? Here is the difference:-

  • Joint Tenants - effectively you both own all of it. So, if one of you passes away the survivor automatically owns all of it - no matter what it says in your Will. Most couples tend to own a house this way.
  • Tenants in Common - effectively you each own just half of it. When you die, what happens to your half depends entirely upon your Will.

In your Will you may be able to protect part of your house against being lost to outside demands, such as Inheritance Tax, debts, remarriage, residential Care Fees etc - but this will only work if you do not own the house as Joint Tenants.

The ownership can be changed to Tenants in Common, by undertaking a Severance of Tenancy. Your Will writer can help you check the ownership and make the change if necessary.

"But with our house only one name is on the Deeds - what should we do?" The most appropriate course of action might be simply leave the house in one name and make suitable Wills - but it will need a more detailed review of situation before you decide.

CALL Peter Hoare now on 01276 415 811 for Free Consultation.

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