April 15, 2020

Wills and Property

Written by Amy Matthews

Buying a house is one of the most significant financial commitments people make. It is therefore imperative that you consider your affairs to ensure that your home is protected should the worst happen suddenly, and that when you do pass away, your home is handled in accordance with your wishes.


From first time buyers to family homes to retirement properties, a Will can cater for your needs to ensure that your property is passed to those you wish when you pass away. Albeit an unpleasant topic, it is more important now than ever before to make sure you have a Will in place.

Provision for financial assistance

Your Will can dictate that your estate will assist in discharging the mortgage or other household liabilities as you see fit, easing the financial burden of your loved ones.

You can do this by making a direct provision for payment of your mortgage as a lump sum from your estate. Alternatively, you can create a life interest trust, providing a regular income from your estate to your spouse/partner to assist with monthly payments towards the running of your property after your days.

Granting the right to reside in your property

You can provide your partner or your children with a ‘life interest’ in your share of the property when you pass away; an invaluable tool for lifetime and care planning. 

For example, if both yourself and your spouse own the property, you could leave your respective share of the property directly to your children in your Will but grant your spouse the right to continue living in the property until they pass away or are unable to reside there any longer. 

This means that your spouse retains the benefit of the property, but only their half share would be considered as part of their individual estate. 

This is an invaluable tool for lifetime and financial planning, as it ensures that at least half of the value of the property is protected against care home fees so that there is a protected inheritance to be passed down to your children.

Likewise, if you have a dependent who you wish to ensure has a place to live after your days, you can afford a specific person the right to occupy the property, knowing that your share is ultimately passing to those you intend. 

This option is also beneficial to those who have children from a previous marriage as you can ensure that your spouse and children are looked after should the worst happen.

Your solicitor will be able to guide you through the benefits of creating a Will trust based upon your circumstances.

Wills and a new home.

When buying a new property, it is essential that you either draft a Will or certainly update any existing Wills.

Regardless of the value of the property, we would encourage every homeowner to make a Will at the completion of their transaction, especially if you are unmarried at the time of purchase, have children or have recently gone through a divorce.

It’s a quick and simple process, especially when using a professional, and should your circumstances require further thought, planning may be necessary to ensure your wishes are met and that any dependents are catered for; however that is why we are here to help.


Lasting Power of Attorney

Alongside Wills, we would always advise considering making a Lasting Power of Attorney. This document enables a person of your choosing to manage your affairs on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so (be that through illness, or mental/physical incapacity). 

Should you find yourself in a position where you are unable to manage your own affairs, your family could run into great difficulty trying to handle your finances, property or health and welfare. 

Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place will largely avoid a great deal of unrest during an already difficult time. 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is an invaluable document so for advice; please contact our team of experts to discuss this further.

Property Protection Trust

Alongside creating a trust in your Will, you are able to create a trust during your lifetime to protect your home as part of your tax and estate planning endeavours.

Similar to the Will trusts discussed above, you can place your property into trust now so that you have peace of mind in your elder years that the burden of running the home has been passed to your trustees, and the property will pass in accordance with the terms you have set out in the trust deed.

It is essential that you seek legal advice when considering making a trust. Your solicitor will be able to discuss the benefits of creating a property protection trust based upon your individual circumstances.

For expert advice on Wills, please contact 01792 450010 or email [email protected]