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Home ownership and marriage

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I've been married 27 years and started to feel guilty about something I should have sorted out decades ago.

I owned a house in my own name before I was married. Through inertia I left it that way when I married, and even when we moved house 26 years ago everything was left in my name on the new house. The mortgage is now paid off and I've realised I need to make sure my wife doesn't have problems in the event of my death.

First question is, do I need the services of a solicitor, a conveyancer, or someone else?

Next question is, should I make my wife a 'joint tenant'. 'tenant in common' or something else? I have gathered from internet searching that tenancy is the same as ownership.

Last question is, since no money is changing hands, can I be sure I will not be liable for stamp duty?

We have two grown up children if that makes any difference.
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  • Kayalana99
    Kayalana99 Posts: 3,626 Forumite
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    Don't worry about stamp duty, its not applical at all. You've been married for so long that if you spilt now she would be entitled to 50% (or around that) and if you died without a will everything would go to her as you are married.

    I can't really give advice on it as I don't know enough and its your decision, joint or tenant in common I know joint means you both own 100% and the other you can divide it up 50/50 90/10.

    I wouldn't be able to advise as I don't know but even *if* on paper she owns 10% and you got divorced I would of thought she could still get 50/50 of the house but thats personal opinion :S

    Id just go for joint ownership if none of this worries you anyway and just stick her on the house.
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
  • Bluemeanie_2
    Bluemeanie_2 Posts: 1,076 Forumite
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    Kayalana99 wrote: »
    Don't worry about stamp duty, its not applical at all. You've been married for so long that if you spilt now she would be entitled to 50% (or around that) and if you died without a will everything would go to her as you are married.

    I can't really give advice on it as I don't know enough and its your decision, joint or tenant in common I know joint means you both own 100% and the other you can divide it up 50/50 90/10.

    I wouldn't be able to advise as I don't know but even *if* on paper she owns 10% and you got divorced I would of thought she could still get 50/50 of the house but thats personal opinion :S

    Id just go for joint ownership if none of this worries you anyway and just stick her on the house.

    This isn't true. The first £250k would (used to only be £125k but they increased it).
    I'm never offended by debate & opinions. As a wise man called Voltaire once said, "I disagree with what you say, but will defend until death your right to say it."
    Mortgage is my only debt - Original mortgage - January 2008 = £88,400, March 2014 = £47,000 Chipping away slowly! Now saving to move.
  • Kayalana99
    Kayalana99 Posts: 3,626 Forumite
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    Well I was nearly right.. :D Just out of curouisty who gets the rest? Im assuming the child would come after the partner?
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
  • Programmer
    Programmer Posts: 30 Forumite
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    The estate with the house probably exceeds 250k so I will attend to the will as soon as the house ownership is sorted. Even if I was under the limit I think I would still be causing problems for my wife if I left everything in my name because as far as the Land Registry were concerned the house would belong to me...and I would be dead.

    I'm still not clear how to go about the ownership change. Is it the job of a solicitor, conveyancer, or DIY?
  • cabbage
    cabbage Posts: 1,177 Forumite
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    Hi

    In theory you can do it yourself & get form Tr1 from the land registry, fill it in and return it to hm land reg with the fee but you seem to need legal advice too so it might be best to get a solicitor to sort it out for you.
    The Cabbage
    Its Advice - Take it or Leave it:D
  • Land_Registry
    Land_Registry Posts: 5,855 Organisation Representative
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    Providing the property is registered and is in England & Wales then our online FAQ re transferring ownership will help

    There is also online guidance around the joint tenants/tenants in common aspect although the guidance simply explains the differences.

    It is important to understand the pros and cons of each type of ownership and this is where legal/financial advice should come in - Land Registry cannot provide this.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • Bluemeanie_2
    Bluemeanie_2 Posts: 1,076 Forumite
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    Kayalana99 wrote: »
    Well I was nearly right.. :D Just out of curouisty who gets the rest? Im assuming the child would come after the partner?

    Lol, nearly it then follows the rules of inteste:

    Since February 2009 if you die without making a valid will, and you do not have any children, your spouse or civil partner will be awarded the first £450,000 of your estate

    If you do have children, £250,000 of your estate will be awarded to your spouse before the remainder is divided between your children.

    The spouse has priority over all other categories of beneficiaries, but may have to share the residuary estate with other beneficiaries. If the person who dies intestate has no surviving spouse or civil partner, their estate passes to the following in order:

    • their children, subject to the property being placed in trust - but if none to

    • their parents, equally if both alive - but if none to

    • their brothers and sisters subject to the property being placed in trust - but if none to

    • their half-brothers and sisters subject to the property being placed in trust - but if none to

    • their grandparents equally if more than one - but if none to

    • their uncles and aunts subject to the property being placed in trust - but if none to

    • their half uncles and aunts subject to the property being placed in trust - but if none to

    • The Crown.
    I'm never offended by debate & opinions. As a wise man called Voltaire once said, "I disagree with what you say, but will defend until death your right to say it."
    Mortgage is my only debt - Original mortgage - January 2008 = £88,400, March 2014 = £47,000 Chipping away slowly! Now saving to move.
  • beckysbobbles1
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    Dealing with an estate with a valid Will is much easier than without. If your wife is sole executor (and mirror in the event of her death) then the process to transfer things such as account etc is a lot quicker.

    I wouldn't feel guilty about this. You've been enjoying living your life so paperwork like this hasn't been a priority.
  • Alter_ego
    Alter_ego Posts: 3,842 Forumite
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    I'd just make a will leaving all to her, or as you wish things to happen.
    No real need to alter house ownership.
    I am not a cat (But my friend is)
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    Alter_ego wrote: »
    I'd just make a will leaving all to her, or as you wish things to happen.

    No real need to alter house ownership.

    And if the will gets lost or destroyed, the widow could be left having to sell her home to give the children their inheritance.

    Change the house ownership and make wills. Belts and braces!
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