The laws of inheritance don’t always work as we might expect. A critical issue is
exactly how your house is owned.
Many people own a house together - but is that as Joint Tenants, or Tenants in Common?
Here is the difference:-
It is as if you both own all of the property. So, if one of you passes away the survivor
automatically owns all of it - no matter what it says in your Will. Most couples
tend to own a house this way, but it reduces what you can do in your Wills.
Tenants in Common
This is treated you each own just your share of the property (normally equal shares,
but the proportions can be different). When you die, what happens to your share depends
entirely upon your Will.
In your Will you may be able to protect part of your house against being lost to
outside demands, such as Inheritance Tax, debts, remarriage, residential Care Fees
etc - but this only works if you do not own the house as Joint Tenants.
The ownership can be changed to Tenants in Common, by undertaking a Severance of
Tenancy. Your Will writer can help you check the ownership and make the change if