Tenancy in Common
Protecting Your Property for Your Beneficiaries
To avoid this, the Joint Ownership of your property will have to be changed into Tenants in Common, and we would arrange this for you through HM Land Registry (simultaneously with the drafting of your will). Each one of the two Tenants in Common (also known as Owners in Common) is then able to give his or her half share in the property away as they see fit via their will. Effectively, after the demise of the first of the two tenants in common, the deceased person's half share of the property can be held in a trust for the children, leaving the surviving spouse with a life interest in the whole of the property yet with the ownership of only half the property.
How does Tenancy in Common benefit my children?
As a result, if the surviving spouse or partner were to remarry, your children would not have lost their inheritance to the new spouse, as they would have gained an interest in half the property upon the first death. A further consequence of this gift is that Social Services will have lost their claim on what has now become the children’s share. Therefore, if the surviving spouse or partner were to subsequently require care, Social Services could only lay claim to the survivor's half share of the property. Giving away half a property is not always desirable either, so further steps may be taken to address this point and we would be happy to advise you further.
Which wills and trusts should I consider alongside this arrangement?
A limitation to the above simplified trust is that the survivor loses half the property upon the death of the first spouse. As this is not always desirable, a different trust may be used to leave the surviving spouse with more control over the ownership of the property, which still provides legal protection for your property. Some trusts can legally shelter monies and investments as well as property. It is essential for us to understand your circumstances fully so that we may advise you which trust would be most appropriate to your circumstances.
How can I arrange for Tenancy in Common?
We can do this for you.
In order to draft a suitable trust to protect your property, it is essential that your property be owned in the right manner. The joint ownership of your property will have to be changed into Tenants in Common, and we would do this for you through HM Land Registry simultaneously with the drafting of your will. Each one of the two Tenants in Common (Owners in Common) is then able to give his or her half share of the property away as they see fit under their Will. Again, it is essential for us to understand your circumstances fully so that we may advise you which Trust would be most appropriate, as there are further subtleties involved. What you may have noticed above is that the survivor still retains a half share of the property and therefore that half share of the property could still be claimed by Social Services. We can advise you further on this matter.