So, you have found your dream home, you have secured removals and finally after an eternity of waiting you have the keys. Time to put your feet up, relax and never have to see the inside of a Solicitor’s office again – well, actually no. Now would be a really good time to put a Will in place.
For many, buying a home is the single largest purchase that they will make and it therefore makes sense to want to protect that purchase and ensure that their home is protected and that those who they want to benefit from the value of their home do so should they (or someone they own their home with) die.
The best way of ensuring that this happens is to make a Will especially, if your Property is not held in joint names and/or you and your partner are not married.
What happens if I hold the Property in my sole name?
If you own your property in your sole name then it will form part of your Estate when you die. If there is no Will in place then the rules of intestacy will control who inherits from your Estate and even, in some cases, how much of it they can have!
For example, a cohabitating, unmarried couple have no rights under the rules of intestacy to receive anything even if they share children, bills etc. Instead the sole owner’s Estate would pass under the rules of intestacy which does not recognise unmarried couples.
By making a Will you can control who inherits your Estate ensuring that those who should benefit from your Estate do.
What happens if I hold the Property in joint names?
This will depend on how the Property was purchased. Many people do not realise that there are in fact two ways of holding a Property in joint names:-
- a) Joint Tenants – where one owner passes away the surviving owner will inherit 100% of the ownership of the Property under the rules of survivorship.
- b) Tenants in common – in this situation the Property is usually held on a 50:50 basis. When one owner passes away their 50% share forms part of their Estate and is passed on in accordance with either their Will or under the rules of intestacy.
Without a valid Will this could mean that the surviving owner may not be the person who inherits the deceased owner’s share and could mean that they either have to buy the other share or have to sell the Property.
My Property is held as joint tenants so will pass under the rules of survivorship and I do not have any other assets. Do I really need to make a Will?
A Will not only allows you to control who benefits from your Estate it also:-
- Allows you to choose someone you trust to carry out the administration work for you.
- Allows you to appoint a legal Guardian for your children. A failure to provide Guardians for your children can result in them being placed into the care of social services until a Court is able to rule on who they should live with
- Allows you to make gifts of specific items including family heirlooms and pets
- Allows you to make effective tax planning decisions to potentially reduce any Inheritance Tax payments
- Allows you to specify funeral wishes
- It may help to prevent claims being made against your Estate by disgruntled family members
- It is generally more cost effective for your Estate if there is a Will in place.
Isn’t making a Will really expensive and time consuming?
Here at Backhouse Solicitors our straight-forward Wills start from just £175.00 plus VAT.
Our specialist Solicitors will explain your options when planning for the future in order to best support your circumstances. We can draft Wills and Trust documents in accordance with your wishes and fully explain the tax consequences for your Estate in the future.
Following the meeting the Solicitor will, within 3 working days of the meeting, prepare and send you a draft Will for your consideration.
Once you have approved the Will a short meeting will be arranged with you to sign the Will and you can now sit back and relax knowing that your affairs are in order.
If you’re considering making a Will please contact our team today for a FREE 30 minute consultation.
The Backhouse Solicitors Team