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Unregistered Land

By | Land Registry, Property | 2 Comments

Whilst it is becoming less and less common these days, from time to time you will come across clients whose land is unregistered at the Land Registry. This will usually come to light if we are searching for a land registry title to see if a property is held as joint tenants or tenants in common. The fact that a property is unregistered is not a cause for alarm with a severance. In such a case, WillPack will provide just two copies of the notice of severance. These should be signed by the owners and one copy with their Wills and a further with the title deeds. Their intention to sever to tenants in common, evidenced by the signed notice, will be legally binding. It is however highly advisable that owners register their property with the Land Registry during their lifetimes for a number of reasons. A disposition of an…

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Hotchpot

By | Inheritance, Property, Wills | No Comments

For parents who have more than one child, it may be necessary during their lifetime to make monetary advances to help a particular child or children but not all at that time. For example; the purchase of a house or to help clear a debt problem. The advancement can be either be made as a gift or a loan. Upon the death of the parents, in most cases they would wish for all of the children to have benefitted the same so that there is no unfairness felt between the children. The above can be achieved simply by the inclusion of a ‘Hotchpot’ clause within the Will. Whether the advancement was made either as a gift or a loan is irrelevant because the clause will work in the same way. The Hotchpot clause relies on the testator keeping a record outside of the Will of any gifts made and in…

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Discretionary Trusts

By | Property, Trustees, Trusts | No Comments

The Discretionary Trust is a common Trust for a Testator to use for their children to ensure that they do not inherit directly from their estate. The reasons for this can vary, for example, protecting assets from potential divorce, drinking or gambling issues, or the testators may wish that their assets are distributed in a particular manner or at certain points in their children’s lives that are outside the capabilities of the Will itself. This type of trust is effective because the assets are held and managed by the Trustees to distribute to the beneficiaries at their own discretion, hence the name of the trust and just because a beneficiary is named under the trust does not mean that they are absolutely entitled to any assets – useful where the Trustees may have concerns over how the money may be used.  Where beneficiaries are named under the Trust; this can…

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Joint Property Ownership

By | Property | No Comments

When two or more people own a property, there are two types of ownership with the Land Registry, joint tenants and tenants in common. When dealing with property in a Will, depending on how the testators wish to distribute their property, the question of ownership must be raised.   Joint tenants is the most common and standard way for property to be registered at the Land Registry when purchasing a property. The general concept of joint tenants is simple enough to understand. The ownership is tied together between the proprietors, therefore when either passes the away, the survivor(s) will inherit the deceased’s share of the property by survivorship. If this is the wish of the testators, no further action should be taken as this mean the property does not need to enter probate. The survivor(s) will just need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate and a completed…

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Joint Property Ownership

By | Property | No Comments

Joint Property Ownership   There are two ways in which property (in this context we are referring to real estate or land) can be held; either as beneficial joint tenants or tenants in common. Where property is held as beneficial joint tenants the asset will pass automatically to the surviving owner(s) on death. This means that the asset does not form part of the deceased’s estate and as such cannot pass under a Will or via Intestacy. Note that assets such as joint bank accounts and joint shareholdings would also pass in the same way. Tenants in Common means that each owner effectively holds their own share i.e: 50:50 and this can be gifted by Will or forms part of an estate under Intestacy. A property can be held in unequal shares but a trust deed should also be drawn up to support this with a restriction entered on the…

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Flexible Life Interest Trust

By | Inheritance, Legal, Property, Trustees, Wills | One Comment

Flexible Life Interest Trust  Due to more complex estates and greater wealth, greater flexibility is essential to cope with any future changes to the family structure (such as new family members) and changes in the tax regime. The best way to gain the maximum flexibility is by the use of a Flexible Life Interest Trust (FLIT). How a FLIT works The residue of the estate is held on trust for the surviving spouse or civil partner for their lifetime, after which or when the life interest is ended, a discretionary trust will arise in favour of nominated beneficiaries, usually children and issue. Trustees are given a number of powers. They can grant the income of the trust fund to the surviving spouse/civil partner and have the power to grant the capital of the trust fund to them as either absolutely or as a loan, which would be repaid when the…

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