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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 724
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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Can a man, having lived with his wife 25 years, sell

Customer Question

can a man, having lived with his wife for about 25 years, sell the family home which is solely in his name, and buy and move into a house of his wife's choice but have this new family home registered only in his wife's and son's names [excluding himself from the title]? What would, if any, be the adverse consequences/implications of this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please may I ask:
- are the man and wife legally married?
- what is trying to be achieved by putting the house of the wife and the son?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes, the man and wife are legally married, though the wife goes under her maiden name.what is trying to be achieved by putting the house of the wife and the son? - the man wants the wife to have assurance that she owns the house and not her husband but he wants to include the son as joint title holder to prevent the wife being persuaded into rash decisions about the house in the event of divorce or death of the man
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response.
Do you have a will?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no will at the moment
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response.
If you were to divorce - then either of you could make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances.
In relation to the matrimonial finances - The correct process for dealing with the matrimonial finances and division is to go through a process known as full and frank financial disclosure. Yourself and your wife would need to exchange full details of all assets ( including pensions) and liabilities before negotiations take place in relation to settlement. Everything is included in disclosure - all assets and all liabilities.
The normal rule for division is 50/50 however the matrimonial causes act sets out factors which could lead to a departure from this rule. A few examples are the likely earning capacity of both of you for the future, health needs etc.
The house would still therefore be a matrimonial asset - no matter whose name it is in.
If you were to die and you didn't have a will then your estate will be divided according to the rules on intestacy. Assuming that your wife outlives you - your estate would be divided as follows:
the surviving spouse you will keep all the assets (including property), up to £250,000, and all the personal possessions, whatever their value.
The remainder of the estate will be shared as follows:
- spouse will get an absolute interest in half of the remainder (This means that half of the remainder is the spouses absolutely under the new rules)
- the other half is then divided equally between the surviving children. If a son or daughter (or other child where the deceased had a parental role) has already died, their children will inherit in their place.
Please do not hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Please kindly remember to rate my answer positively. No credit is received for our work unless positive feedback is received.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank YouThe crucial bit is "The house would still therefore be a matrimonial asset - no matter whose name it is in."That's fine, but are there any warnings, things to bear in mind, from tax or other legislation, if the man were toa) exclude himself from the title of the new family homeb) include his son in the title?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
I'm sorry but I am not a tax expert - I am a Solicitor specialising in family law so this although I can tell you the legal position you are going to need a tax expert in respect of the tax position. You may find this HMRC guidance useful:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/323663/hs281.pdf
From the legal prospective - I would say the following:
- although your son may be a legal owner - it would be yourself and your wife that would have the beneficial interest - should you divorce and he has never contributed - then he would have no interest in the property - as he would be holding this on trust for you and your wife - you should consider legally recording this position in a deed of trust
- if you were getting a mortgage on the new property - the mortgage company may raise issue with your son being named on the title
- if you are looking to reassure your wife that you are not going to deal with the new property - then not being named on the new property would stop you from raising a mortgage and or selling the property.
- if you did decide to separate and the house is in your wife's sole name - you would need to complete Form MH1 and send it to the land registry to protect your rights of occupation.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
TY for that. I am getting the feeling that the best course of action is to put the new family home in joint husband/wife names.I understand when the title is Joint Tenancy then one cannot stipulate any safeguards through a will but if it's as Tenants In Common then one can put in safeguards in a will. Is that so?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Normally for unmarried couple holding a property as tenants in common means you hold the property in separate shares and holding a property as joint tenants means you hold the property in equal shares - this however isn't the case when you are married - the property is still a matrimonial asset when you are married - no matter whose name it is in. The asset would be included as an asset on divorce and division would be as per the matrimonial causes act (as described above).
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
TYa) We are legally married. So can I write a will and put in safeguards to stop my wife being persuaded to dispose of the house against family interests after my death?b) what if, after we end this session, something else occurs to me that I should have raised here?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
You can write a will - but you need to ensure that you properly provide for you wife. If you don't then your wife could seek to contest the will if she hasn't properly been provided for. Simple will are relatively inexpensive (circa £200). It's best to discuss your plans with your wife so that she understands your logic and there is less chance of a later dispute.
Your question does not close when you leave positive feedback and I can answer your follow up questions for free.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
TYI thought I was getting a grip on the subject through the statement "The house would still therefore be a matrimonial asset - no matter whose name it is in." but your advice "you need to ensure that you properly provide for you wife [in the will]" indicates that I have control over more than half the family home and can stipulate ownership of it after my death. That's confusing.Anyway, I'm not seeking means of depriving the wife of "proper provisions" through the will but was wondering if there was a way of safeguarding her somehow, through the will, from being persuaded to make decisions, after my death, that are not in her best financial interest. She can be very easily influenced by others. But now it seems that despite it being a matrimonial asset I can still decide, through a will, who the family home goes to after my death. Seems rather contradictory and confusing.btw can I have a copy of this chat so that I can go over it again?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll be back in a couple of hours.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response.
My apologies for my delay in responding to you as I had to nip out.
My apologies again if you are confused.
The rules in respect of divorce and inheritance are completely separate and should not be confused.
If you did divorce then your the division would be as per the matrimonial causes act. 25 years is a long marriage and therefore the starting point is really 50/50. It doesn't matter how the property is held - it is still a matrimonial asset that will be included for division.
If you died:
1) without a will - you would be classed as intestate. Your estate would be divided as per the above post. As your current is solely in your name - then your wife would just inherit as per the rules of intestacy.
If a new house was in joint names as: tenants in common - then your wife would again only inherit as per the rules if intestacy for your share.
If joint tenants - then your all your share passes to your wife and she also inherits as per the rules of intestacy on top of that. The property will pass directly to you under the rules of survivorship. Joint property is not included in the estate for distribution either under a will or under the Intestacy Rules.
2) with a will:
If the house remains in your sole name it won't automatically pass to you wife.
If tenants in common - your wife keeps her share.
If joint tenants - your share passes to your wife automatically.
In any eventuality - your wife could still contest if she wasn't properly provided for.
Does this clarify?
Kind Regards
Caroline
Ps - not sure how you save the chat - perhaps you can print to file on your computer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
TYI think both parties needeither dedicated time set aside for live chats like theseor conduct the question and answer through emails, so neither side is sitting waiting expectantly for the other side to respond.Anyway, many thanks for the chat. I will need time to digest it all.Bye for now.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Ok just let me know if I can assist further
Kind Regards

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