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Co-Own Your Home the Right Way

Co-Own your Home the Right Way

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.

"We decided to seek advice about estate planning because we wanted to understand how to efficiently protect our assets and pass them safely to our children and grandchildren. We also wanted to put as much help in place for our family as possible, so as to make things as easy as possible for them when the time comes. We liked Gina’s patient and diligent manner in answering our questions and guiding us to the right solutions. Gina explained everything to us with great clarity, making concepts we were unfamiliar with accessible and clear. We particularly liked the fact that Gina came to see us in our own home without our having to make a special request; this is just the way she works. It was so much easier for us to relax and talk freely in the comfort and privacy of our home. Having put the right estate plan in place we feel that we have ticked a big box. This was something we knew we had to get round to. Now it is done and sorted and we don't have to worry about it anymore. We have also gained a clear understanding of the measures that have been put in place and why they are important. "

Matt & Betty R

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