Your home is usually your most valuable asset, so it’s particularly important to plan what happens to it after you die.
Having a well written Will is obviously a key part of this, but there is another aspect if more than one person owns the property, perhaps a husband and wife or common law partners.
If you have ‘Joint ownership,’ both of you share 100% ownership of the home, and the whole property will automatically belong to the surviving partner if one of you dies.
If you are ‘Tenants in Common,’ you each own a share of the property (not necessarily 50% each) and have more flexibility – and certainty – in how it will be passed on when you die.
For example, you can specify in your Will who will inherit your part of the property – perhaps ensuring that it will eventually goes to your sons, daughters or grandchildren, even if your widowed partner re-marries and has other children.
And there are other potential benefits too: ‘Tenancy in Common’ can help protect your assets from being taken to pay for the cost of long term care, or if you have the misfortune to be declared bankrupt, the value of your assets is reduced.