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Unmarried couple - should we be joint tenants or tenants in common

(8 Posts)
fabhead Mon 27-Jul-09 17:23:44

Am just trying to update our mirror wills which were done pre-children, we are unmarried cohabiting couple, two children. what is the difference between joint tenants or tenants in common again and which should we be?

Nothing out of ordinary, 2 children, want everything to go to them via guardians/executor we will appoint if we both die at same time, via surviving partner if one of us goes. Leaving everything to each other / our children.

thanks

madlentileater Mon 27-Jul-09 17:27:00

oh god, we had this and I can't remember at all what the answer was...but we had new wills written by someone who had some scheme for avoiding inheritance tax which required us to change from one to the other...not much help I'm afraid, get some advice on inheritance tax before you decide, I guess.

fabhead Mon 27-Jul-09 18:29:48

oh god i hate all this stuff - pensions next!!

I seem to remember that from last time too ...

anyone?

mummy2isla Tue 28-Jul-09 22:09:49

OK ..

Joint tenants: you both own the property as if you were one legal person. This means that you cannot separate your shares in the property and, eg, you leave your half in the property to your brother and dp leave his half to his brother.

Tenants in common: you each own your own half of the property.

The main difference is for wills. You and your dp should have mirror wills, for which should be joint tenancy really.

You should be joint tenants. This joint tenancy can later be severed if, eg, you break up (god forbid).

Hope that helps. As I've had some red wine let me know if I've been unclear!

fabhead Tue 28-Jul-09 23:21:57

makes perfect sense, thanks

babybarrister Thu 30-Jul-09 11:18:13

of course depending on how much you conributed you may not want to be a joint tenant ....!! ie you might want over 50% if you split ...

fabhead Thu 30-Jul-09 17:38:29

everything has always been fifty fifty with us, similar income levels etc so in the event of a split 50/50 would be fair I think.

faraday Sat 01-Aug-09 20:58:27

As long as you feel (and it would seem you do) that you are effectively as 'good as' married, you can safely go Joint Tenant.

I believe it also protects the financially weaker partner should one of you's situation change.

However:

My stupid brother remortgaged his house (living beyond his means!) and got a passing girlfirend to go in on the new mortgage with him so he could GET it (relatively low income earner). She disappeared off into the ether- and resurfaced 7 years later wanting 50% of the property. She'd contributed £400 to the 'joint' arrangement in total. He ended up losing £22,000 and his home.

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