Protecting property is a growing concern for many people these days. We live in a society of what can sometimes be extremely complicated family circumstances, with children from different marriages and relationships.
By making a Will, incorporating a protective property clause, you can make sure any new spouse or civil partner is provided for, along with any children from a previous marriage.
Most couples own property jointly – as beneficial joint tenants. When the first owner dies, the property automatically passes to the survivor outside the terms of your Will. If the survivor then forms a new relationship, remarries, or if they need assistance with their care, the whole of the property is taken into account. This could mean that children from a previous marriage or relationship will lose out, or that the whole of the property can be taken into account for the purpose of funding care costs.
By changing the way in which you hold the property, to that of tenants in common in equal shares, you can protect your share in the property. By signing a Declaration of Severance, you continue to hold the legal title to the property jointly, so you can sell or re-mortgage it, but you define your own share in the property. When you pass away, your share of the property does not pass to the survivor but instead passes under the terms of your Will. Your Will would then grant a right to the survivor to continue living in your property when you pass away. The survivor is not therefore entitled to the capital from your share of the property so it cannot be given away by them, nor can it be used for the purposes of meeting their care needs.
If you would like more information, or would like to make an appointment, please contact Vicky Sladdin or Rachel Towle in our Wills and Probate Team on 01302 320621 or email email@example.com