I own my property as Joint Tenants with my spouse/partner and we have just split up. What should I do?
Our first advice here would be to book a free initial appointment with one of our Family Department solicitors to discuss the position. Subject to their advice however, it is often important at this time to make a new Will and to alter the ownership of your property to Tenants in Common. This at least means that until your divorce is finalised you have done all you can to ensure that your (soon to be ex) spouse or partner does not automatically inherit the entire house if you were to die.
This is effectively a temporary step, until the divorce or separation can be arranged, but it is highly encouraged to make sure that you take control of the situation.
We have just helped out our children onto the property ladder by lending them the deposit for a house. Can we document this?
In short, yes, and we highly encourage you to do so. Using a Deed of Trust it can be made clear who owns what percentage of the property. This can be most useful if the child has bought the property with their partner, or if you have more than one child and want to make sure that you treat all of your children equally.
In association with our Property Department we can fully advise on the best methods of documenting this to ensure fairness between your children, or to ensure that the money you have loaned to your child is correctly documented in a formal way. We would encourage you at the same time to review your Wills to make sure that this position is accurately reflected.