When two or ore people are buying a property there are two options. You can either hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common. The difference can prevent a gift being giving when writing a Will.

With joint tenants, on the death of the first tenant the property will automatically pass to the the survivor and will not form part of the estate of the deceased. Therefore when making a Will it is important to first sever the joint tenancy if this is not your intention.

Most married couples hold their property as joint tenants but more and more are severing their joint tenancy so that provisions in their Wills are not frustrated. One of the main areas where this practice is essential is when a Trust is set up in a Will. These come under many names such as lifetime interest trusts, property protection trusts, protective property trusts and discretionary trusts. Such trusts can help mitigate tax, care fees and can avoid sideways inheritance i.e. where those unintended receive part of the estate, for example a son-in-law.

Without severing, the trusts above would not work even with the most carefully written Will. When making a Will it is essential that this area is covered. We offer free a free consultation to discuss this aspect of making a Will in Bristol.