If you and your partner own a house together, it is important to consider how your property is owned. If one of you passes away, what happens to the house depends on how you and your partner own it.
Most homeowners are not aware of how their property is owned, and how the wrong type of ownership can have devastating effects on your loved ones after you pass away.
For example, if you are the sole owner of the property and you pass away, the house will be subject to the Rules of Intestacy. This means that your loved ones won’t have control over the house, and your surviving partner could find themselves homeless.
However, the rules get more complicated when you and your partner own the property together, as there is more than one way to do this.
If you and your partner own the property jointly, then on first death the property transfers wholly to the surviving co-owner. This may sound similar to what you had imagined, but this can actually cause problems further down the line for the surviving spouse.
If you and your partner are Tenants in Common, each party owns a definitive share of the property. If you die without a Will in place, your share of the house passes to your estate – it does not automatically transfer to your partner. Under the Rules of Intestacy, the house will be inherited by your next of kin, which could mean that your partner now has to share ownership of the house with your relatives.
Your house is one of the most valuable assets you will own. Make sure you know exactly what will happen to it after you are gone! Contact us now for more information.