Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify that this is to prevent your partner claiming the same on any divorce please or is this for another reason that you propose this please?
too avoid loss of house in event of divorce
Is there a mortgage on the property in question?
Thanks. Because you have no mortgage you could as you say transfer your house to your niece however such a move would have some significant disadvantages.
the first and most obvious being that if you transfer the property to your niece, your niece could then decide to remove you from the property and sell it as the property would by definition belong to her if you transfer the same. even if you trust your niece implicitly to the extent that you know she would never do this, if anything were to happen to your niece and her estate would pass to somebody else under will and they may seek to do so
envisage short term. 3 Yr maximum Marriage concerns gone, transfer deeds back to me
Second, notwithstanding the above, on any future sale of the house, capital gains tax may be payable if it were owned by your niece. this is not the case if it is owned by you as your principal residence
third, unless your miece pays you for the property at market value, any transfer of your property at undervalue can potentially be reversed by the courts for up to 5 years and any divorce settlement and so the transfer potentially could fail to have any advantage whatsoever
There are some potentially better solutions which with your permission, I may suggest you consider
the first point to make would be that if you were to divorce within 2 to 3 years, this would be considered what the courts refer to as a short marriage. the significance of this is that the courts deal with short marriage is differently to longer marriages. For longer marriages, there is typically a starting point, though by no means the finishing point, of a 50/50 division of matrimonial assets. For shorter marriages however the starting point is different and in the absence of children, the courts would typically start from a point about the parties respective assets owned prior to the marriage are returned to them and any assets acquired during the marriage, split 50-50. the courts can depart from this but you appreciate the important distinction being that for a short marriage, if you own a property prior to the marriage, the starting point is this may not be considered for division between you
if you are concerned however to protect your assets from any potential divorce settlement, rather than relying on the above alone, you matey well to consider a prenuptial agreement between you and your fiance. prenuptial agreements do not have legal force in the courts and will be respected by the courts.
thank you most helpful