Separation & The House
On marriage. The wedding ceremony, grand or modest, marks the point in your relationship from which the best you can hope for is that one of you wakes up in the morning to find the other has died.
Marriage and other romantic relationships are subject to the incalculable fluctuations of human passions, sometimes marriages fail. There’s a 42% chance a marriage might end in divorce or annulment.
You and I know people who separate but leave it at that. Further, there are the cohabitees who never got married. All three classes of people are likely to have joined their finances together. They would have bought a house together.
I am put in mind of a most delightful client of mine Gina. She’d been separated several years from her husband. The house in which she lives was previously the one she’d shared with her husband. Although he had moved out, he was still a joint owner of the property.
Last One Standing Wins
When two or more people buy a property together, the ownership papers tend to be drawn with the owners as joint tenants. It’s just the way conveyancers have done things.
One effect of joint tenancy is that ‘last man standing wins’. On the death of one of the joint owners of the property, the survivor gets the property. The survivor’s will would dispose of the house. No ifs no buts.
Gina was aghast that at the possibility that her property, or at least her share of the property would be inherited by anyone other than her children. She was knocked for six at the thought that her estranged husband, who’d made no contribution to financing and maintain the house for more than 20 years could inherit the property. When he moved out there was a huge mortgage on the house – we talk of the days in which an 8% mortgage was a deal so good it was beyond description. She was galled that rather than her children, the other woman would inherit the house.
You’ve parted company with a significant other. In the event of your death, would you be content for the person, no longer in your life to inherit your share of the property? If you don’t mind them inheriting, you may carry on as you are.
If, however you’d like your share of the property to go to someone other than your ex, call me on 020 8669 1779 or fill the contact form below and we’ll talk about securing your inheritance for those you care about.Tags: divorce, Home Ownership, Sepa