The way couples own their home

For most couples their home is their largest asset. The thought of it ending up in the wrong hands on our death or our partner’s death is horrifying.

Most couples own their homes as ‘Joint Tenants’. This means that when one dies, the survivor automatically becomes the owner of 100% of the property. The majority of couples who have made Wills, have simple Mirror Wills which gift everything to the survivor when the first spouse dies and then onto the children on second death. There is nothing wrong with this type of Will.

However, the disadvantage comes should the survivor remarry, suffer bankruptcy or need long term care. If the survivor remarries, then marriage automatically revokes previously prepared Wills. This means that the new spouse would inherit under the Intestacy rules if the surviving spouse did not make a new Will for the benefit of your children.

If the survivor fell out with any of the children, there is nothing to stop the survivor cutting them out of the Will after the first spouse passed away. This is particularly relevant when there are children from previous relationships.

Tenants in Common

If the way the home is owned is changed to ‘Tenants in Common’ and your Will is changed to include a Life Interest Trust. Then whoever dies first, their share in the property is protected against second marriage or bankruptcy along with long term care costs; the interest is ring fenced for your children.

If you would like a free consultation to discuss making a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney or to review your existing Will please call 01275 851056 or email nicola@richardsonswills.co.uk