There are two ways in which people can own joint property.
The first is as joint tenants, this means that both joint owners own 100% of the property together. On the death of one of the joint owners the survivor then owns 100% the property in their own name.
This is called the rule of survivorship and it also applies to jointly owned bank accounts.
A joint tenancy is the most common, and default way in which married couples own their property.
The second way is as tenants in common in equal shares. This means that both joint owners own a 50% share in the property. Upon the death of one of the joint owners their share follows their Will and is passed to their chosen beneficiaries.
In order to own their property as tenants in common the joint owners must sever their joint tenancy. This is done by serving a Notice of Severance, usually prepared by a solicitor, and registering the same at the HM Land Registry.
When homeowners sever their joint tenancy, they must also update their Wills as they will have to deal with their 50% share in their home rather than the same passing by the rule of survivorship.
Firstly, they will need to give their surviving co-owner the right to live in their 50% share for the remainder of their life and decide who is to inherit their 50% share.
If you wish to discuss changing the way in which you own your home call us now on 01257 686386.