Purchasing a property in joint names ? What you should know in the event of a death.
When a property is purchased by two or more people, there are 2 ways in which the property can be held. Both ways have very different implications in the event of a death of a co-owner, they are:
1.Tenants in Common, where you can specify in what shares the property is held between co-owners, for example 70% to 30% or 60% to 40%. If a property is held in this manner, on the death of a co-owner their share will pass under their will or according to the laws of intestacy if no will has been made. This is often a popular choice where a co owner wishes to leave their share of the property to children of a previous marriage, or where business partners buy a property between them.
2. Joint Tenants, where co owners own an equal, undivided share in a property, regardless of contributions. In this situation upon death of one co owner the deceased owners share will pass automatically to the surviving co owner, irrespective of whether a will has been made or not. Most couples, married or not, hold properties in this way, but we would always advise anyone who is buying a property to make a will anyway to make provision for the whole of their estate, not just their property.
For informed and comprehensive advice on how to hold jointly owned properties, wills and tax planning advice or any aspect of the buying and selling process please contact our Property Team for a free initial consultation.