Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common

There are 2 ways of owning a property* – Joint Tenants (JT) or Tenants in Common (TIC). When a property is bought and registered with the Land Registry, the electronic title deeds will show who the owners of the property are.  We no longer require paper deeds. Properties are often owned as JT.  For example, if a couple (married or co-habiting) buy a house it’s usually as joint tenants (JT).

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This could affect you.

Separate accounts? Separate property? Separate children? These days, it’s not only our families that are more complicated, but also our finances.  It’s quite common for couples to separate their finances, or some of them.  Even if you have joint bank accounts, there may be separate ISAs and savings, credit cards, bills, investments, pensions, etc.  Even if you have a joint bank account, if one of you loses capacity (for example has dementia) the bank can freeze the joint account and ask the remaining partner to apply to the Court of Protection to allow them access to the money.

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Separation

If you have an existing Will which names your partner or spouse as beneficiary to inherit all (or some) of your assets, then this will still happen, even if you have legally separated and have made a separation settlement of finances.  This can include property, savings and your business.  If you haven’t yet divorced or made a new Will, the old Will still stands. 

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Don’t be afraid to talk about making a will or what happens after you’re gone – it could be one of the most important things you do for your family!

The New Year is a great opportunity to get around to things you have been putting off.  Making a Will, shows that you are thinking about the future of your loved ones, and that you care about them.

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What’s the difference between a Will and a Power of Attorney?

Will:  a legal document which deals with the disposal of a person’s estate when they die.
Power of Attorney: a legal document which appoints an Attorney to act on behalf of someone else whilst they are still living, but unable to deal with matters themselves – ie., due to losing their mental capacity or because they need to delegate the responsibility due to physical incapacity or other reason.

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