Are you and your partner joint tenants or tenants in common?Smart Will
What are the types of property ownership?
There are three main types of property ownership, sole owner, joint tenants and tenants in common.
If a home is owned by only one person then it is registered as a sole owner. If there is only one owner on the property then that owner can create a will which will include a provision on who to gift the property to in the event of their death.
A jointly owned property is a property that is owned entirely jointly between two people. This is often the case with a couple who have purchased the property together. If a property is owned as joint tenants, then if one person was to pass away, then the survivor is going to automatically become the sole owner of the entire property. You will not be able to gift that property within a will,
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Tenants in common
The final option is for tenants in common. Tenants in common will own their own specific share of a property. This could be a straight 50/50 split between two people, or it could be anything that totals up to 100% (such as 40/60%).
In the case of tenants in common, if one owner dies then their shared will not automatically pass to the other owner. Instead, the ownership will pass to whoever they have gifted their share too in a will. If there is no will then the ownership will pass according to the Rules of Intestacy.
How to check whether or not a house is owned in common?
The first place to check this is to take a look at any historical documents which you may own. This could be from when you originally bought the property, or when you last mortgaged it. You can also take a look at the Land Registry, all you will need to search for the property is to enter your house name and postcode, which will then present you with registered properties that match your address. You can download the details of the registration of the property at a cost of £3.
Having a property that is owned as tenants in common is the safest way to make sure that the property passes down to the right people as outlined in your will.
It is no secret that we all want to protect the futures of our children, especially if there is going to be a good chance that we will no longer be around. Of course, the first step in the process is making sure that we have a will, however, there are more things that we can do to keep them safe and secure. Many of which involves estate planning.
If you are planning on leaving your children with some inheritance, then you might want to look further into writing your Will.
One way that some people are trying to help to protect the money that they have for their children is to look at switching their home ownership from joint tenants to tenants in common and writing an online Will.