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Expat Wills

Severance of Joint Tenancy

If you are in the process of getting divorced from your partner or you are already divorced but still jointly own real estate property, you should consider separating the legal ownership of the property. This is done to prevent your ex-partner from inheriting 100% of the property should you die.

Most residential property in England and Wales is owned by "Joint Tenancy" whereby the property automatically passes to the survivor in the joint tenancy on the first death.

There may, however, be circumstances where it is prudent to arrange the ownership of the property by "Tenancy in Common" whereby each partner has a share (usually 50%) and they can dispose of their share as they wish.

This can be arranged by the Severance of Joint Tenancy process, which changes the title deed for the property to reflect a change from Joint Tenancy to Tenancy in Common.

Expat Wills can draft the necessary documents, which once completed should be lodged at the Land Registry Office together with the deeds to the property.

Business partners usually own property as tenants in common, this means that if one them dies his or her interest in the property forms part of the estate and can be gifted in the Will.