What do we need to know if we are buying in joint names?

Most couples who are married or in a stable relationship purchase as “joint tenants” which means that upon the death of one or other the deceased’s half share will automatically pass to the other. The alternative is to hold the property as “tenants in common” which means that each person’s half share is treated as being separate so that upon the death of one or other the deceased’s share will not automatically go to the surviving partner but to whoever it has been left to in the deceased’s will or, if there is no will, to his or her next of kin. If you are putting unequal amounts into the property the person who is paying the larger amount can and often should be protected by a “trust deed” which sets out your respective shares so that in the event of any dispute or upon the death of one or other of you in the future your original intentions will be clearly recorded. Once you have considered the above options and/or if you require further advice you should tell us so that we can make sure that your wishes are carried out.