When two or more people buy a property together, there are two ways in which the property will be held, either as ‘tenants in common’ or ‘joint tenants’.
If you co-own a property as tenants in common, each co-owner owns a specific share of the property. This is typically a 50% share each, however it is possible to hold unequal shares.
As you each own a separate share in the property you are all entitled to leave your individual share to your chosen beneficiaries in your Will. If you do not have a Will when you die (known as dying intestate), your share will pass to your nearest living relatives by blood according to the government’s Rules of Intestacy. A tenancy in common agreement is ideal for people who wish to own property jointly with their partner but wish to leave their share of the property to someone else when they die. It is also appropriate for people who have children from a previous marriage as they can guarantee that their children will benefit from their estate when they die, provided they have written a Will.
People who are worried about the cost of care home fees can also benefit from this type of ownership as by owning property as tenants in common, should you require full time care in the future, you will only be means tested on your share of the property, meaning you can potentially reduce the amount of care fees payable.