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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34895
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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There, I'm married with two kids and my husband and I own

Customer Question

hi there,
I'm married with two kids and my husband and I own a house outright (but it is in his name because he provided the majority of the capital) a flat with a mortgage on it (mortgage and flat in my name, but we bought it together). Both of these properties were bought before we got married. We're now planning to buy another investment flat together (outright). I feel we need to split our assets better and maybe get a tenancy in common for the house (because we own different percentages). I also want him to be liable for half of the mortgage. In addition I'm thinking about inheritance tax and to get a will drawn up. Can you advice? Should I get a family lawyer, how much will I have to pay? Can we try to do the will and a deed of trust ourselves?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your question My name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further details firstHow much are the various properties worth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,
The house in my husbands name is ***** ***** £700 000, the rental flat in my name is worth £280 000, but has a £200 000 mortgage on it.
Wer're looking to buy for about £110 000.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How was the house purchase actually funded?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My husband inherited some money more than 10 years ago and bought his first property outright. It tripled in price over the years so he sold it and with me having saved quite a bit too, we managed to buy the house 6 years ago. Since then the house has tripled in price again.Any chance I can get an answer today? We want to make a decision soon.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
There are two separate issues here.
The first point to mention is that in the event of a divorce the starting point for division of all the assets will be 50/50 no matter whose name is ***** *****
On that basis there is no reason why the two existing properties should not simply be transferred into joint names as beneficial joint tenants rather than Tenants in Common however with Inheritance Tax in mind there are of course advantages to the Tenants in Common option which can allow half of the property to be held on Trust for the children - although the fact that the second to die can have a double allowance if the first spouse has not used theirs again makes it a little less of a worry
However a Will IS essential - you need a Probate specialist to advice on the Wills and the Tax position - please do not try and do this yourself - the risks are too high
Please ask if you need any further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is the starting point in the event of a divorce always 50:50 even for the assets that we're bought before the marriage started? Does that apply to the mortgage too? Would he be liable for half? That seem a little unfair.
How do I arrange for half of the property to be held in a trust for the kids? Have you got a link to a website where I can read more about this?
Thank you.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

It is always the starting point where the marriage is longer than a few years and where there are children involved - but it is not necessarily the end point and the ocurt does take account of contribution and needs.

I am not certain what you mean by liability for half of the mortgage.

If there was a divorce then it is the net equity that would be counted as part of the assets - not the value of the flat itself.

However since yours in not a divorce situation there is no reason why the matrimonial home should not be transferred into joint names; and why your ex should not apply to be joined on the mortgage and the flat be placed in joint names as well.

Then you can each write Wills leaving your share of the properties to be held on trust for the children in the event of your deaths.

I am not sure which part of this you wish to have further information on - but if you confirm then I will try and find some links for you