What is a Deed of Severance?
A Deed of Severance is a document which changes the ownership of a property from being jointly owned to being owned as Tenants in Common. Tenants in Common means each person has a definite share in the property (i.e for a couple, usually 50%-50% but it doesn’t have to be), whereas being jointly owned (or Beneficial Joint Tenants) implies that each person owns 100%.
Why would I want to do this?
If you are joint owners and one of you dies, the other automatically becomes the sole owner of the house. This is known as the “Right of Survivorship”. If the house is owned as Tenants in common, however, it’s more akin to owning shares in a company. Your shares in the house are yours to leave in your Will, giving you more say for your share of the property.
This can have even more relevance in later life, and help protect your property against being sold to pay for care home fees. When combined with appropriate planning, such as an Asset Protection Trust, this can also reduce Inheritable Tax liabilities on second death.
How can Kinherit help?
As part of our planning process, we check the ownership of your property with the Land Registry. If we think a Deed of Severance is appropriate, we discuss the details with you and can prepare the appropriate forms for you to sign. If you’re taking a Will with us, or use our Hosted Planning & Handover service, you can also upload a copy of the Deed of Severance to your Kinvault to ensure nothing gets lost and to reduce any potential complications later on.