How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

My wife had an apartment when I met her and we sold it and

This answer was rated:

My wife had an apartment when I met her and we sold it and transferred the mortgage to another property in her name. We have been married for 4 years and have extended the house and paid the mortgage with mutual monies. Neither of us have made wills at
this time but propose to do so shortly. Mary has 2 children and I have 7 children we would ultimately like the proceeds of the house to be distributed 50% to be shared between Mary's children and 50% between mine when we have both died. What is the situation
if I was to die first and prior to us making wills and how would our wishes be best covered in our wills?
Hi, thank you for your question.
It would depend on how the property is held - if it is held as joint tenants then the property will automatically transfer to your wife on your death. If it is held as tenants in common then it will be transferred according to intestacy rules. Intestacy rules state that the first £250,000 of your estate, plus your personal possessions will go to your wife, everything above that will be shared 50% by your wife and 50% equally by your surviving children.
I therefore suggest you urgently have a will put in place to ensure your wishes are in place.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As stated in my question the house is in my wife's name. What determines whether this amounts to Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common and what is my situation if my wife dies first and she has not made a will ?
Apologies, I misread and thought that you had bought the new property together.
The legal title would therefore be in your wife's sole name, and joint tenancy / tenants in common does not come into it. At this time you only have a beneficial interest in the property arising out of the marriage and your contributions.
If your wife were to pass away first without a will, then the first £250,000 of her estate will be passed to you (along with her personal possessions. Any amounts over £250,000 will be shared 50% with you and 50% equally between her surviving children.
Again, you should look at having the wills drawn urgently to outline your wishes.
Harris and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you