Solicitor Dani McGurk, in our leading Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts team, explains why it is important to make or review your Will when moving home.
Moving home is an excellent time to review your Will. Your home is one of your biggest assets and it is vitally important that you ensure that your Will is kept up to date, to reflect your wishes and to protect your and your family’s future interests.
You may be moving for many reasons, including moving in with a partner (“cohabitation”), marriage, a growing family, divorce or the death of a loved one. Each of these situations are also key reasons to review and potentially update your Will. Our earlier blog article, ‘Making a Will – Everything You Need to Know’, explains this in further detail.
You will also want to ensure that your property is owned in a way that works for you and protects your and your loves ones’ interests, or it could have profound implications.
If you own property with someone else, it will be held as either “Joint Tenants” or as “Tenants in Common”. Each of these options has a different effect on what happens to your property after you die.
If the property is held as “Joint Tenants”, it will automatically pass to the surviving owner on the first death under the rule of “survivorship”. This transfer happens automatically, regardless of what is stated in your Will. Think of it like a joint bank account – when one of the owners of the account dies, their name is simply removed from the joint account, leaving it in the sole name of the survivor.
“Tenants in Common”
If the property is held as “Tenants in Common”, the proprietors each own a distinct share of the property. This way, when you die, your share of the property will pass in accordance with the instructions in your Will, giving you much more control over what happens to it.
We can check how the property is held for you, and make sure that it is owned in a manner that suits you.
Remember too that your address appears in your Will and is one of the ways used to identify who the owner of the Will (the “testator”) is. Keeping the address on your Will up to date is very important and if you move you should get in touch to take advice on what changes need to be made. The same principle applies to the addresses of any other parties in your Will.
For further information or legal advice, please contact email@example.com or call 0118 951 6800.
This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.