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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35088
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife and I have been separated 20 years but never divorced

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My wife and I have been separated 20 years but never divorced ( no plans ) but she would like to sell the marital house that we hold as benificial joint tenants and move on to buy a new home with the proceeds. I propose to complete a land reg trf with no claim on any funds BUT we are both worried about any Capital gains. Is there exposure ? How can we avoid / minimise this ? The house was bought in 1985 for £46K and valued at £319 currently. Really appreciate any help as we are both confused.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you.Do you intend to stay married and will the new property be held in joint names/Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Really appreciate some help here. Lets just say we have continued to defer any action on a Divorce. The new property will be 100% in my ex wifes name. Effectively she has lived there for 20 years as her own and I want her to have some freedom to do what she wants. I have in effect gifted her my share ( or thats what I think we are doing ? )

Do you need to have main residence relief on any other property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Now you've got me !! In addition to the marital home she has lived in alone for the last 20 years I rented for 10 years and the last 10 have an apartment in my name ( of exactly the same value ). Sorry Clare hope this helps build the picture. In simple terms and in our own way we just want to keep life simple and each do our own thing. This is only influenced by me still being part owner and us wanting to minimise any exposure to taxes. Paul.

Thank you for that - do you anticipate selling your property in the near future?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That really depends. I may if there are no implications but IF there is exposure then I will defer any such action. I just want to try and get it right. At the end of the day we were thinking we have a choice. Either we just sell the marital home as a couple and she keeps the proceeds (or) we go the transfer route. As I say - I just want to try and get it right. We are not trying to avoid what needs to be done - but we don't want to make any costly mistakes.

My apologies for the delayIt should be possible to avoid a CGT bill at all - and there are a number of ways that you can achieve this.One option to take is the relatively straightforward one of your simply giving the proceeds to herThis is based on the fact that in the absence of a Divorce or a Separation agreement the HMRC will in fact consider that you are still "living together" despite the physical factsIf you "living together" in the eyes of the HMRC then any gifts between you do NOT attract CGT.The alternative is to Sever the current beneficial joint tenancy that you almost certainly hold the property under and instead own in as Tenants in Common in unequal shares with you taking a five or ten per cent share bring your "gain" within the annual allowanceEither will workYou can read more here hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
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