Wills – Tenants in Common or Joint Tenants?
23 May 2019 by Jane Golding
I am regularly asked about the difference between: owning property as Tenants in Common, and owning property as Joint Tenants.
Do you know the difference?
Below is a general guide to the differences of owning your property as Joint Tenants, and its implications upon death; as well as owning your property as Tenants in Common, and the implications upon death.
Tenants in Common explained:
Owning property as Tenants in Common means you jointly own the property; however, as co-owners you are regarded in law as having separate shares. Often the shares are held on a 50 / 50 basis; but if one person is putting more of their money in than the other, the shares can be more specific. Upon the death of a Tenant in Common, their share of the property passes to the beneficiary in their Will.
Joint Tenants explained:
Owning your property as Joint Tenants means the property belongs to you as well as the other owner or owners jointly. There is no separate distinction between tenants. You must all act together as a single owner. You will not own any specific shares in the property; and you cannot give away a share of the property in your Will. Upon the death of one of the joint tenants, your interest in the property automatically passes to the surviving owner(s).
- Joint Tenants is often the form of ownership in married couples or civil partners. These parties are content for the survivor to be the absolute owner. The ownership of the property held on a Joint Tenant basis cannot be altered by a Will. A Will made by a Joint Tenant which tries to leave the property to anyone other than the legal Joint Tenant would be ineffective.
- Tenants in Common each person only owns a share in the home. When one Tenant in Common dies, their share will pass into their Estate and will be dealt with by the Personal Representatives. Tenants in Common is often used to ensure that one half of a married couple or civil partners can pass on their share to their children. Tenants in common can also be used for Inheritance Tax planning; and can also prevent your home from being sold, if you need to go into long-term care.
If Fisher Jones Greenwood can assist you in the Drafting of your Will or planning for your future, then please contact our offices on 01206 700113 or email [email protected] to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.