How do I protect my Home?
Most people are Joint Owners of their homes with their partner or spouse. Upon one owner’s death the property automatically passes over to the survivor. However, this may cause problems in future, for example, if they remarry the property passes to the new spouse which would disinherit any children from the first marriage.
Upon one owner’s death, the remaining survivor needs to go into a Nursing home. The Local Authority will use the money from your house to pay for the care home fees, again disinheriting any children.
What’s the answer?
The answer is to change the way your home is owned. At present you will be Joint Owners. The key is to change this to what is called ‘Tenants in Common’. The process is straightforward.
What are the benefits of changing to Tenants in Common?
Each ‘Tenant’ will own one half of the property, and each should write a Will detailing what should happen to their half of the property. This can include leaving their share to their own children so in the event of the surviving spouse remarrying, they are not disinherited or by leaving their half to the children, only half of the house value will go towards nursing home costs if the survivor needs to go into care.
Is there anything else I can do? We would also recommend that when you write your Will, provisions should be made via a Will trust to delay the gift of half the house to prevent the survivor being forced out of the home by the children (to whom the half was left) and to ensure the survivor access to the capital if the house is sold. This Will trust is called a Life Interest Trust or Property Protection Trust.
How do I protect my savings?
The same types of trust can also be used to protect your savings in the same way. They are also called a Life Interest Trust or Flexible Life Interest Trust.