Enquiries on some of the matters that have been concerning you – FAQ

I currently have a will but am getting married next month and will need to change my will. Should I wait until after my marriage to do this?

The will you have is automatically cancelled upon your marriage and so it is important to make a new will before you marry as otherwise you will have to rush straight from your wedding reception to your solicitor’s office! The new will you make can be made in contemplation of your marriage with your partner and if this is stated in your will then the will is not automatically cancelled on your wedding day.

My mother has just died leaving a will appointing me as her executor. Sadly at the time of her death she was going though divorce proceedings with my step father. My step father was claiming a share of my mother’s home in the divorce proceedings. Will his claim end now?

The claim in the divorce proceedings will end. However your step father is entitled to make a claim against your mother’s estate if your mother has not made any financial provision for him in any will or if the financial provision she has made is not reasonable financial provision. You should take legal advices before applying for a grant of probate to your mother’s estate and before distributing any of her assets.

I am buying a house with my partner and do not know whether we should buy the house jointly as joint tenants or jointly as tenants in common

If you are making unequal financial contributions towards the purchase price of the house or the payment of any mortgage then you should own the house jointly as tenants in common so that you can record the contributions you are making. You need to do this as otherwise if you separate you will be deemed to own the house equally and any additional financial contributions made by one of you will be treated as a gift to the other. If you own your house jointly as joint tenants then in the event of your death the house will pass outright to your partner. Your partner can then deal with the house in any way he wishes. If you have other family whom you would like to make provision for then you should own your house jointly as tenants in common. If you do this then your house does not automatically pass to the survivor. Instead your share in your house passes by virtue of the provisions in your will. In your will you can make various provisions. You could say for example that your partner can live in the house after your death but you could go on to say that if he were to sell your house after your death part of the proceeds of sale could pass to your own family. It is important that you take legal advices about this before you exchange contracts to purchase the house If you have any legal questions then please contact enquiry@dixonstewart.com.

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