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The difference between joint tenants and tenants in common when making a will

When buying property, you are always asked if you would like to hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common, but this is not just a decision that impacts property ownership.

The difference between the two is important when considering your will. If a property is held as joint tenants, and one owner dies, the property will pass in its entirety to the other owner. This is known as the right of survivorship and occurs regardless of any wishes in your will. Your co-owner will inherit the property in its entirety and are able to leave the property to a beneficiary in their will. This is obviously not the case if there are multiple owners, where the same will happen again in the event of further deaths, with the property passing wholly to the surviving owner. 

The way to avoid this is to either hold the property as tenants in common from the outset or sever the joint tenancy at a later date. The impact this has is that the property can be held in set percentages, although there is a general assumption that it will be held equally, and your share can be passed to your beneficiaries under the terms of your will. If you and your partner each have children from previous relationships, for example, it allows you to leave your share of the property to your children should you wish to do so.

Please contact Erin Dobing for more information:


About the author

Erin Dobing

Erin joined the firm in July 2022 as a trainee solicitor and is currently working on both private client and conveyancing matters.

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services. 

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