A More Flexible Way to Own Your Home
Most people who co-own their home with another person do so as Joint Owners. On the death of a Joint Owner, the property AUTOMATICALLY transfers to the sole name of the survivor – who can then do what they want with the property.
However this can cause problems:
If the survivor then remarries, it is possible that the whole of the house will then pass to their new spouse on their death, thus leaving the potential of disinheriting the children of the first marriage, or If the survivor has to go into a Nursing or Residential Home, as the sole owner of a property, the Local Authority has powers to charge the cost of care against the value of the whole house, again potentially disinheriting your children.
The solution to help address the above issues, is to change the ownership of your home from Joint Owners to Tenants in Common; a straightforward process that doesn’t involve your mortgage company even if your property is mortgaged.
As Tenants in Common, each owner can then do what they want with their share of the property on their death, including leaving it to their children rather than their spouse. We do however, advise that provisions are also made in the Will to prevent the surviving spouse being forced out of the home.
This can be addressed by careful Will drafting. See section under the ‘Wills & Will Trusts’ heading.