Which one? :- Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common
16 August 2021 by Jane Golding
When Estate planning or updating of a Will there are a number of times that people will ask as to whether it is better to hold your property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.
- What is Joint Tenancy?:
Joint Tenancy means that each person owns the whole of the property – each person has a 100% stake in the property’s value and in the eyes of the law you must all act together as a single owner. If you want to sell the property, then you must all agree. As joint tenants you cannot leave part of the property to someone else within your Will. If one of you dies the property will automatically pass to the surviving spouse/co-owners(s). Typically friends, family or unmarried couples tend to hold a separate interest rather than joint ownership.
- What is Tenants in Common?:
Tenants in common means that you each own a share of the property as a percentage. You can own different beneficial shares of the property for example 50/50 or 30/70%. The property will not automatically transfer to the other joint owner if you die. You can also transfer your share of property to anyone you wish to name and leave it to within your Will. Typically married couples hold as Joint Tenants.
Frequently asked questions:
Q – I want to safeguard my home from paying care fees.
A – If you own as Joint Tenants then on death the property passes automatically to the survivor. The survivor then owns the whole property and should they need to go into a care home, then the whole value of the property could be used to pay their fees.
A – If you own as Tenants in common and you die then you can bequeath your share in the property to whoever you like. You could place into trust so that the survivor has the right to continue living in the property for life. With regards to Care fees it would be only assessed as you owning a half share of the property or the percentage value you own in the property.