Samantha decided she wanted to leave her property to her daughter Helen in her Will.

Samantha’s partner Pat (who was not Helen’s father) had helped pay for some recent renovations to the property and had helped pay mortgage repayments over the years.  Samantha didn’t realise that this meant that Pat may have rights to the property which meant when she passed away he could claim half of the asset, regardless of what her will said.  She presumed because she held it in her own name, that Pat would have no rights to it.

This meant she had to re-think her Will and provide for Helen in other ways to try to ensure that there were no complications.

Many people are not aware of how they own their property, for instance whether they own it jointly (which means that it automatically passes to the survivor on their death) or as to a half share (which means they will need to deal with it in their Will) or indeed sometimes in trusts or companies.  People are also often not aware of their partner’s rights to a property on their death.

The way a property is owned can affect how you deal with it in your Will. It is important to understand your situation when you are creating your Will so that you can avoid unintended problems for your loved ones.  We can help you with this process.