Sever Joint Tenancy to Tenancy in Common
Sever a joint tenancy in favour of tenants in common
In the interest of making a Will, it is important to understand the legal difference between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common.
When you buy a property with someone else, you become either joint tenants or tenants in common and these two states have big implications as to what happens to the property in the event of death.
What is the difference between tenants in common (TIC) and joint tenants?
Simply put, the basic difference between two owners of a property being joint tenants and tenants in common is that the first arrangement does not allow someone to leave their share of the property to someone else when they die, even ‘though their will may stipulate this is to happen; upon death, the other owner of the shares of the property automatically inherits the deceased’s share, whether or not their will states it should go to someone else.
The second arrangement, tenants in common, does allow for someone to leave their share of a property to whomsoever they may wish to. This is why, when you make a will, it is important for you to consider what you want to happen to your shares of the property you may jointly own. So how does it work?
If you buy a house or other property ownership with someone else you are not what the law describes as a sole tenant, and are therefore either a joint tenant or a tenant in common.
It does not matter whether you buy the property with a mortgage or pay cash for it in total straight away. When the legal process of transferring the property to your name and that of the other owner takes place, the conveyancing process will register you and the other owner in the Land.
The Land Registry is the Government department where details of ownership of land and property ownership are recorded.
Joint tenancy is a kind of ownership where two people search for a property, then buy it together, with each person automatically having a 100 per cent share in the value of the property. According to the law, the two owners must act jointly as a single owner.
In most cases, if you jointly own a property with another person and they die, under the survivorship rules, you will have the legal right to the possession of the property. This is the case regardless of the instructions the deceased left in his will or intestacy laws. There is usually no requirement that allows a surviving owner to get a Grant of Letters of Administration or a Grant of Probate to transfer the legal rights to the property possession. They are only required to show the death certificate of the deceased.
However, it’s advisable that you search for an experienced probate solicitor who will advise you or make sure the transfer is registered the right way. You must all agree to put the property on sale. This means that you cannot leave your share of the property to one of your family members or anyone else in a will.
Tenancy In Common
When it comes to TIC, each owner owns a defined stake of the property, which doesn’t have to be equal value. Each owner can decide to mortgage their portion of the property separately. However, if any lenders agree to this, a joint mortgage will still be needed.
Another difference between TIC and joint tenants is that TIC has the legal right to write a will that provides for the gifting of their part of the property to beneficiaries. If the owner of the property passed away writing a will, their stake of the property will be passed on under the intestacy laws. This type of ownership is common among family members and friends who purchase property together.
To achieve a clear understanding when entering TIC, the potential tenants must come into a legal agreement in a document called a Declaration of Trust, which will then be recorded at the Land Registry. Make sure you include the cost of purchase as well as the loading charges.
What can I do if I want to sever being joint tenants and become tenants in common?
Can tenants in common become joint tenants?
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Writing wills is the only way to ensure that your money, possessions, property, as well as your investments, has gone to the people or the causes that you care of.
How to write a will
Find out the value of your property. You can draw a list of your lasting assets and your debts too.
The assets that usually make an estate are
- motor vehicles
- your company
- your home, furniture and other household pieces of stuff
- all your savings (bank/building society accounts)
- pension funds
- investments like stocks and shares
- other property that you own
- other personal belongings registered under your name
Then calculate the amount of debt you have. Debts may be a mortgage, a bank overdraft, a credit card balance, loans or equity release. These assets should be valued on a regular basis since their value keeps changing over time. To clarify this you can contact the people responsible to know how long lasting they are.
The will should be transparent regarding your assets. Ensure you have stated well who you would like to gain from your will. Decide where the remains of the assets will go (any money or property that is generally left after meeting the funeral along with administrative expenses, taxes, and legacies). State what to be done if one of your beneficiaries dies before you. If you desire to give any particular gifts to specific individuals like charity, ensure that you have included the correct information like the full names, addresses, and the charity’s registered number. Erroneous information might make your chosen charity to be denied the gift. This is a long lasting decision make sure it is satisfactory to you.
Executors deal with the distribution of your assets once you are dead. It involves a lot of work and accountability, thus think about the people you appoint cautiously.
It’s now the time to write your will
Make your own will:
Make your own will and ensure that it is valid. It should be correctly drafted and signed.
It is typically best because they offer legal advice. Look for one who specializes in wills. Ensure that they are registered with the relevant body.
Some of the banks have will-writing services as well as advice regarding asset planning.
Professional wills writers:
these are not qualified solicitors; hence, they might not be regulated. Do thorough checks if they are registered before you choose one? You do not want to mess up because of less research on solicitors.
Ensure your will is valid
Your will should be in writing, and only you should sign it and witness by at least two people who should as well sign it in your presence. You should have the mental capability of making the will and also understand the effect that it will have. Finally, you should make the will willingly and not from anyone else pressure. The beneficiaries, their family or civil partners are not supposed to act as witnesses; otherwise, they will lose their right of the inheritance. They are not even supposed to be present when the will is being signed. It is not advisable for an executor to be a witness.
Making a will in sickness
The will can be signed on your behalf if you are not capable provided that you are in that room and you have the mental capability to make the will. It should contain a clause stating that you understood everything prior to signing it. In case of a severe ailment, you might require a statement from a medical practitioner certifying that you have understood what you are about to sign then you can get an attorney. You can as well appoint somebody else to have a short-term power to sign your legal documents by giving them a general power of Attorney.
Keep updating your will
You are supposed to review your will after every five years or after a significant change like a moving house or new grandchild, and you should never make changes to the original will. For minor amendments, you can add just an addition, called a codicil that must be signed and witnessed just like the will, even though the witnesses don’t need to be the same. For significant changes like remarrying or divorce, the will requires to be changed. You must make a new one and cancel the previous one.