Estate Protection and Preservation

Most people who co-own their home with another person do so as Joint Owners. On the death of a Joint Owner, the property AUTOMATICALLY transfers to the sole name of the survivor - who can then do what they want with the property.

However this can cause problems:

  • If the survivor then remarries, it is possible that the whole of the house will then pass to their new spouse on their death, thus disinheriting the children of the first marriage.
  • If the survivor has to go into a Nursing or Residential Home, as the sole owner of a property, the Local Authority has powers to charge the cost of care against the value of the whole house.

One answer to both of these problems is to change the way you own your home from 'Joint Owners' to 'Tenants in Common'. As 'Tenants in Common' each owner using their Will is able to do what they want with their share of the property on their death, including leaving it to their children rather than their spouse. Provisions are also made in the Will to prevent the surviving spouse being forced out of the home. This is done by including 'Life Interest' clauses in each Will.

It is important to take professional advice which is dependant on your personal circumstances.

Child drawing family - Estate Protection and Preservation

Denberts Associates (Fareham) Ltd can offer you specific personal advice on this and other related matters. Please telephone us on our Help Line: 0870 2418525 for further information and to arrange an appointment.