Most married couples own property as joint tenants. Upon the death of one party, the surviving owner owns the whole property outright.
Tenants in common
The alternative is to own the property in joint names as tenants in common. Here, each registered owner owns a ‘share’ of the property that does not automatically pass to the survivor. In the absence of a formal document stating the relative percentage shares, the court will assume a 50% share for each. It is important for co-habitants, who have unequally contributed to the purchase of a property, or parents, who have loaned their child a lump sum to purchase a property with a third party, to find out whether the property is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common.
We can make enquiries with the Land Registry and obtain an official Office Copy Entry (and plan) of your property to confirm how your property is held. We are also able to prepare the document required to change from joint tenants to tenants in common.