Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

"Then this means the children will inherit hardly anything under the Will?" Asked Tom’s divorced wife, fighting back the tears.

Tom had married twice. He and his second wife purchased a house in joint names as joint tenants.

When Tom realised he was dying he made a Will leaving all his property to be divided equally between the children of his first marriage. He and his new wife placed the house on the market agreeing that they would divide the proceeds of the sale between them. Unfortunately, he died before the sale of the house was completed. His first wife was distressed when it appeared that most of his assets had been used to buy the house in which he lived with his second wife, who now claimed the property was hers.

When two or more people buy property as joint tenants on the death of one joint owner the land becomes the property of the survivor or survivors. It can only be disposed of by Will by the last surviving owner.

If the property had been purchased by Tom and his new wife as tenants in common the problem would not have arisen and Tom’s share of the proceeds of the sale of the house would have gone to his children according to his Will.

Remember it is always wise to seek professional advice before taking any legal action.

For More Information ...

For enquiries or more information regarding this article please contact Bill Thompson at Commins Hendriks.

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