Will you leave your partner homeless without a Will?

There are various ways to protect your property from sideways disinheritance or long term care fees assessment but have you considered whether your death may leave your partner homeless?

Firstly you will need consider what you would like to do with your property or your share of the property. You can own your property jointly so that the survivor automatically owns the property. But you may want to own “your” share of your home. If so, what do you want to happen if you die before your partner? Do you want to gift your property to your partner, or give them the ability to live in the property for a specified period of time, or give them the opportunity to purchase the property?

If you wish to gift your property or your share of it to your partner then you will need to leave them a gift of the property in a Will to ensure this happens. Partners cannot inherit through the laws of intestacy, therefore the only way to leave them anything will be through the creation of a valid Will.

Alternatively, you may not wish to gift your property to your partner but you may want them to have a home to live in. Through a trust in your Will, you can give your partner the right to live in a property either for a specified period of time or for life. The length of time you specify is your decision; this may be for one year so they have time to find a new home, or it could be for 30 years or until they pass away.

Another option is to give them the opportunity to purchase the property from your estate. This would mean they could continue to live in your property but your beneficiaries would receive the monetary value of the property instead.

To be able to dispose of your property, you will also need to ensure you own your property correctly. If you own your property solely, then you will be free to dispose of the property through a testamentary wish. If you own your property jointly with another, the surviving proprietor(s) will inherit the property through succession and you will not be able to dispose of your ‘share’ how you wish. In this instance it will be important to consider “severing the tenancy”.

If you own your home solely, or jointly with your partner, and want to discuss any of the issues raised in this article or any other Estate Planning topic with one of our consultants, please telephone 01732 868190 or click here.

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