What Property Can You Leave By Will? - Joint Property

By Stan Taylor Written on:




Want to make a start on your will?

Making a will is simple

Making a Will is not about wealth it is about making sure that what you want to happen to your estate does happen. It gives you the opportunity to specify such things as who will administer your estate, who will care for your children and who will receive specific items of your property.


One big mistake frequently encountered in home-made wills is that the testator thinks he can leave his half of the house to his children rather than his wife.

This is probably the area where the gap between the reality of the legal situation and the understanding of the common man is widest.

It is probably true to say that most married couples would regard themselves as owning half a house each. Nowadays it is fairly rare to come across the situation where the house belongs to the husband alone.

Couples today buy the house together with a joint mortgage and regard themselves as equal owners. Most are surprised to discover that the law regards them as owning their house under a trust arrangement and that they are regarded as trustees.

For the purposes of the law there are two different estates held by co-owners, one is the legal estate and the other the equitable (beneficial) estate. It is the equitable estate that may be varied to suit the circumstances of the testator.

There are two ways of holding the equitable estate, these are known as a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common.


More Reading - What Property Can You Leave By Will? - Joint Tenancy or What Property Can You Leave By Will? - Tenants In Common


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see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English laFree Will download

 

Perhaps you might consider taking legal advice from a solicitor about making a will if any of the following apply to your circumstances:

 

  1. A number of people could make a claim on your estate when you pass away because they depend on yourself financially
  2. You want to include a trust in your will (perhaps to provide for children, to save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you become deceased)
  3. Your physical and permanent home is not in the UK and / or you are not a British citizen
  4. You live here in the UK but you have additional property abroad
  5. You own all or part of a UK business.
  6.  

see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English law.

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