Joint Tenancy and Declaration of Trusts
If you are buying property with someone else, whether they are your partner, friend or if it is an investment, you will need to consider the implications of joint ownership.
Your property can be held as either joint tenants or tenants in common. If the property is held as joint tenants, you do not own a specific share in the property and if one of you dies, the property automatically passes to the surviving owner or owners, regardless of what is set out in your will. On a sale it is assumed that the property is held equally and that the proceeds of sale will be shared equally.
However, if the property is held as tenants in common, each owner has a specific share and interest in the property and can deal with that share as their own. That share can be sold or transferred and gifted to someone by your will. On the death of one of you, your share in the property will pass via your will or under the intestacy rules.
Declaration of Trusts
If there are more than two owners, unequal shares or different contributions to the purchase of the property, we can prepare a declaration of trust setting out these arrangements to avoid any disagreements in the future.
Declarations of trust can be as simple as required and are comparatively inexpensive compared to the potential costs involved in resolving matters at a point in the future.
When dealing with the implications of joint ownership and declarations of trust, it is an ideal time to consider tax planning and making or updating your will. Seymours can also provide assistance with these - please ask to be put in contact with a member of our Private Client Team.
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