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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Property and inheritance

Customer Question

I hope you can help? I'm looking to buy a house with my partner. We are both divorced and have children from our previous marriage. We are looking to buy a house where we both invest 50% each. If my partner were to die, would I by law, be required to sell the house to release monies to his daughter if his will specifies she inherits on his death?
Advice would be much appreciated, thank you, Julie
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 years ago.

Buachaill :

1. Yes, you would be required to sell the house or release monies upon your partner's death if the house were held as a tenancy in common with both parties owning a half share. Effectively, the law will not require whoever inherits from your partner, such as his daughter, to be "locked in" to holding onto their half share. Accordingly, if you wish to get the half share of the house when your partner dies, you either need to agree with him that the house is held as a joint tenancy as in this instance, the right of survivorship applies, whereby the survivor of you both automatically gets the whole on the other party's death. This cuts both ways, because it also means that if you die, then none of the people you wish to inherit get a share in the house. Or alternatively, you need to ensure that he wills his half share of the property to you. However, in this situation it is too late to do anything about it when he is dead, if he has not willed the property to you.

Buachaill :

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Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In fact there is a third option that may be more effective.
When you each make your Will you can include a clause that allows the surviving partner to remain in the property so long as they wish to do so.
Indeed if such provision is not made you could make an application to the court under the Inheritance (Provision for family and dependants) Act allowing you to do so