We offer a free pack which provides further information on owning your home as ‘Joint Tenants’ or ‘Tenants in Common’ and the benefits of making a Trust Will – click here to get your copy.
If you and your partner own your home – or any other property – it’s essential that you hold it as ‘Tenants in Common’ rather than ‘Joint Tenants’. Otherwise your assets are at risk.
What are ‘Joint Tenants’?
Plenty of couples hold their family home and any second homes as ‘Joint Tenants’. If you and your partner own a property as ‘Joint Tenants’, you both own 100% of the property – there is no divisible share. If one of you dies, the other continues to own the whole of the property.
What are ‘Tenants in Common’?
If you hold your home and any other properties as ‘Tenants in Common’, you each own a share – typically 50%. You can leave this share to whomever you like in your Will, and your partner can do the same.
Why does it matter?
If you are Joint Tenants and one of you dies, the other will continue to own 100% of the property. Should the surviving partner need care in the future, the Local Authority can take everything they own to pay for the care fees, leaving just £14,250 to be inherited by children or grandchildren.
If you are Tenants in Common, you are free to leave your share to anyone you choose. You can therefore leave your share to your partner in trust, which allows them lifetime use of the property. Once they die, your children or grandchildren can inherit. Because your share of the property is not owned by your partner, the Local Authority cannot use it for care fees. There is nothing that can be done to protect your partner’s share, but at least half of the estate can be preserved.
Can my partner move house?
Yes – if you die and leave your share of the property in trust, they can move house with the permission of the trustees that you have chosen.
Are there any other benefits?
Yes – if you die and your partner remarries, you can be confident that your share of the property won’t go to their new partner or any children/grandchildren of the new marriage. Your partner has use of the property during their lifetime but on their death, you decide who inherits – whether it is your children, grandchildren or someone else.
How do I create a trust?
The trust is created using a special type of Trust Will. Our team will first check to see if you hold your property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. If you hold the property as Joint Tenants, we will arrange to sever the tenancy so that the property is then held as Tenants in Common. We will then draw up a new Will for you.
Get in touch
We have prepared a free, helpful information pack explaining more about ‘Joint Tenants’, ‘Tenants in Common’ and Trust Wills. Fill in your details below to receive your pack. You can also call us for your pack on 0800 788 0500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have locations across the UK and we can also cater for home visits. We would be happy to review your current situation with you, without obligation. Just call us on 0800 788 0500 or email email@example.com to make an appointment with your nearest office.