Jeffrey Mills Solicitors
JEFFREY MILLS SOLICITORS
- New Beginnings
January / February 2017
It is the 5th of January 2017, a brand new year. I imagine lots of people have made New Year resolutions, joined gyms, embarked on new diets etc. If others are anything like me, they are already eyeing up a bar of chocolate, or thinking about when they can next enjoy a glass of wine!
However, not everything will fade out so quickly.
Many couples will have got engaged over the festive season, or decided that this is the year that they will move in together or buy their first home. Congratulations to you if this is the case. This will be a very exciting time in your lives.
As is generally the case though, there are less exciting but nevertheless very important, practical elements that need to be considered.
Buying a Property.
When buying a property with another person, there are two options in relation to the legal ownership:
- owning as joint tenants
- owning as tenants in common.
If you own as joint tenants, there is what is known as the right of survivorship. This means that if something were to happen to one person and they passed away, their interest in the property would automatically pass to the remaining owner.
If you hold a property as tenants in common, you each own a distinct share, which you can then leave to another person in your Will.
You can hold a property as tenants in common in equal shares, or if for example one person has paid a greater share of the deposit, you can hold it in unequal shares to reflect your specific interest in the property.
Of course, if you hold the property as tenants in common, it is important that you have a valid Will in place, so you can ensure that your share goes to who you wish.
It is surprising the amount of people who do not have Wills. A lot of younger people think there is no need for them to have a Will, it seems to be a misconception that Wills are only required by older people. If you own a property, or have children, I would say that a Will is an essential.
Much like some types of insurance (travel or mobile phone!) it may seem unimportant, until you need them that is.
Recently engaged / about to Marry
If you have recently got engaged, or are about to marry, it may be worth taking a few moments to consider whether a pre-nuptial agreement may be required. You may think that Pre-Nuptial Agreements are only for the very rich, or celebrities. But they are becoming more common place. A firm of solicitors in Liverpool recently conducted a survey of 1,000 married people in the UK. On average, 1 in 10 wished they had a pre-nup. 12.7% of women wished they had one, but only 7.2% of men. The biggest reason for not having one was the refusal from the other party.
The terms of a pre-nuptial agreement can be drafted freely, and can cover whatever a couple wishes. They are usually required when one party is entering into a marriage with higher assets than the other, and the agreement will seek to protect those in the event of a separation. They can be particularly useful in relation to second marriages.
Effect to a Pre Nuptual Agreement
Pre-Nuptial Agreements have been around for a long time, although it wasn’t until around 2010 that case law stated that ‘the court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications…’ However, case law also states that Pre-Nuptial Agreements cannot be allowed to prejudice the reasonable requirements of any children of the family, nor is it likely to be fair to leave one spouse in a predicament of real need while the other enjoys a sufficiency.
As you can see, it is a complex area.
If you require any advice about having a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up, or the validity of an existing agreement please do not hesitate to contact me.
Should you require legal assistance from a firm with family values and a fresh approach, contact Jeffrey Mills Solicitors.
Tel: 01480 219600