Deed of Severance
The way you co-own your home with your other half really matters.
If you are a couple and you own your house together, your co-ownership will have been registered in one of two ways – either as “joint” owners, or owners “in common”.
The way your co-ownership has been registered is crucial to the effect of your will.
If you are “joint” owners, when the first of you dies, the other will automatically become the sole owner of the house, irrespective of what your will says. This the “Right of Survivorship”.
If you are owners “in common”, however, it’s like owning shares in a company. Your shares in the house are yours to leave according to your will as you see fit.
Consequently, you can achieve a lot more with your wills if you own your house “in common” rather than “jointly”.
If you leave your house in “joint” ownership, that can have unintended consequences for your will, as happened in the story of Ebenezer Aregbesola that we have shared in our blog.
Most married couples, however, are automatically registered as “joint” owners of their home.
If you are “joint” owners, you can convert to ownership “in common” relatively simply, by making a Deed of Severance and registering it at the Land Registry.
The cost of making and registering a Deed of Severance is £135. It is also included with the Family Trust Will, which is in turn included in our Testamentary, Intermediate and Comprehensive Estate Plans.
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Deed of Severance
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