Joint Tenants

If you own your property as Joint Tenants (in our experience, most married couples do) then you do not strictly speaking own half of it each – you both own all of it.  This can sometimes make matters easier for a couple, as in the event of the death of one person, the property is really easy to get updated into the name of the survivor.

But sometimes this can also cause problems for people.

Take, for example, if you have two children by your first marriage, and want to leave them a share of the house in your Will. You cannot do this if you own the house as Joint Tenants, as the ownership will have passed automatically to the surviving co-owner, not in accordance with any gift made in your Will.

Other times people wish to leave their share of the house to the children on their death so that it is not vulnerable if the survivor of the couple remarries, or needs help in a care home in later life.

It is therefore crucial to give property ownership some thought, particularly when making or reviewing your Wills, as this can be altered to carry out your wishes.