Legal Q&A: Q. Should I sever a joint tenancy?

A. Separation and divorce can be a very difficult time but I would always advise in any breakdown of a relationship you should always consider this. If you jointly own property together then in the event of your death your share in the former family home will pass to your former partner or spouse.  To prevent this from occurring especially before your divorce is completed, you should serve a notice of severance on your former partner or spouse to end the joint tenancy followed by an application to the Land Registry to register it. 

You will still be legal owners of the property as Tenants in Common, which means that upon death your share in the property will pass to who ever you choose, for example your children.

At the same time you should consider updating or revising your Will so that your wishes take effect in the event of your death in relation to your share of the property or any other assets you may have.

If you would wish to seek further legal advice about this, then please contact Pavinder Khela, our family solicitor and Jo Wild, our Wills and Trusts Associate solicitor, both of whom are based at our Stamford Office.  Please call on 01780 752066 or email direct on Pavinder.khela@hegarty.co.uk; Jo.Wild@hegarty.co.uk