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Is it straightforward and necessary to put my name on the deeds to my husband's property?

(9 Posts)
cherrysodalover Sun 25-Sep-11 22:50:30

Just trying to work out what to do on this one if anyone has any experience?
My husband's property is in his name but I am wondering if there is any value in me putting my name on the deeds when we return next summer to the UK?
We intend to sell the property within the next few years, when we return to the UK.
Or am I naive in thinking now as his wife I am automatically joint owner of that property as he is to my savings- in our minds we are but we are just planning life insurance and stuff and want to make sure if anything happened to either of us it would be straightforward for him to access 'my' savings and me to have full rights to his property with no death duty etc.Neither of us have wills in place as we assume our estate would go to each other without death duties should the undesirable happen to either of us.

I also realised we are paying lots in interest on his repayment on the property and earning very little on the equivalent in savings in my name.I'm thinking it could be wise to just pay off a chunk of his mortgage( with 'my' savings)...but then we would not have access to the savings if we needed them to buy a family home at some point- we currently rent overseas.

Any advice would be helpful thanks.

virgiltracey Sun 25-Sep-11 22:59:18

Someone will be along who knows more about this than me but its is not particularly straight forward to do, especially since the property is mortgaged. There will be legal fees involved plus disbursements like land registry fees. There will probably also be fees from the mortgage lender.

You need to get wills now that you are married, particularly if you have considerable assets and savings. It is not the case that everything automatically goes to the other. Do you have children?

mumblechum1 Mon 26-Sep-11 02:49:48

Transferring the house from your dh's name into joint names would make sense, as although it would be considered a joint asset if you divorced, it sounds as though you're more bothered about what would happen if he died. If he went without making a will, you wouldn't automatically inherit everything, unfortunately, only the first £250k plus interest payable on half of the balance. If you transfer it to joint names as joint tenants (that bit is important), then the survivor of you will inherit the deceased's share no matter what. Alternatively, it could be transferred in to joint names as tenants in common and made subject to a life interest, which means that the survivor can continue to occupy the house, but if they die or remarry, it goes to the other beneficiaries (usually the children).

So far as the other part of your question goes, would you consider an offset mortgage, so that you keep your savings and the mortgage all in the same pot, meaning you don't get interest on the savings, but you don't pay interest on the equivalent amount of mortgage? That way if you need to access your money, you can still do so but obv. sacrifice the interest reduction.

BTW I'm a will writer and have an ad over on the Small Business section of Classifieds ("Marlow Wills") if you're interested in doing mirror wills, which will still stand whether you transfer the house or not. If you decided to transfer as tenants in common, though, you'll need to do the life interest in the wills to cover all bases.

Most high street solicitors will charge about £400 to do the transfer, plus VAT and disbursements (Land Reg. fees etc).

Collaborate Mon 26-Sep-11 09:35:55

Also consider what would happen if your husband were declared bankrupt. At least if you're a co owner it wouldn't all go to his creditors.

babybarrister Mon 26-Sep-11 10:19:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cherrysodalover Tue 27-Sep-11 02:41:44

Thanks Folks.

So Mumblechum does that mean I would inherit 125K's worth but pay tax on the rest should my husband did and my name not be on the property?Wow I had no idea.The idea of an offset mortgage is a good one-never heard of them.I guess I could put savings down to pay off the remaining 70K so we are mortgage free- and draw on that money should we ever need it?Financially that would make sense unless I am missing something. I guess we will only need the money if we buy a home here or in the UK when we return and at some point we hope to sell the flat to release the equity towards another home.

I guess we can only do it if we return to the UK anyway so maybe we should plan for that.I will check out your ad too-do you mind me asking what the advantage is of going through a professional like yourself rather than doing the 20 quid job online via Tesco or whoever does it?POur assets are pretty straightforward and not masses!

No need to worry about going over 250K- we are below this threshold.

The only way we would be declared bankrupt is if someone sued either of us and being in the US that is always possible- we paid off all debts before we left the UK.

mumblechum1 Tue 27-Sep-11 10:12:55

Hi, the thresholds are different depending on whether we're talking about intestacy (the first £250k goes to the spouse, plus interest on half of the balance), or inheritance tax (you have a joint threshold of £650k, and everything over that is taxed at 40%, excluding death in service benefits and most life insurance).

So in your case,you say that your joint estate, presumably including the UK property, is less than £250k, so you don't need to worry about either inheritance tax, or intestacy for the time being.

If, however, your joint estate increases, perhaps because you inherit from parents in the future, then it would be a good idea to think about some tax planning, perhaps by way of potentially exempt transfers.

The advantage of having your will drafted by a professional is that it's tailor made to your individual circumstances. I've never looked at the Tesco £20 will service but suspect that it's a one size-fits-all, which for many people won't work. If you make a will, you can also think about appointing guardians for your children, executors to look after everything on the second death, gifts of personal possessions and of cash lump sums, as well as deciding how the residuary estate is distributed.

cherrysodalover Tue 27-Sep-11 14:59:45

Thanks mumbles.that is good to know. I am surmising this is the same for my parents as in all over 250k my self and my brother would pay 40per cent tax on.that must mean people may have to sell houses they inherit just to pay the tax,even if they are living in them.that seems unfair somehow.

mumblechum1 Tue 27-Sep-11 15:04:30

With your parents, it's only on the second death that IHT becomes payable at over £650k .

So I'd repeat that IHT kicks in only after that sum grin, and only when both spouses have died.

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