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Separating? Are you a joint tenant?

If you are separating from a spouse or partner, and you jointly own property together as joint tenants, you may consider severing this joint tenancy.

The reason:  on the death of a joint tenant the property automatically passes to your co-owner by way of survivorship.

The danger:  if you do not sever the joint tenancy and you die before a property settlement has taken place, it may mean the jointly owned property is automatically transferred to your spouse or partner from whom you have separated.  This may not be part of your estate planning or any potential property settlement (from a family law perspective).

To do:  you can instruct a solicitor to sever a joint tenancy if you do separate from a spouse or partner, so that on your death any interest you have in a property continues to be owned by you with your former spouse or partner but rather than your share automatically passing to them, it may form part of your estate, and be dealt with in accordance with the terms of your Will.

This process should be considered in conjunction with any family law advice.

Please contact Cavelle Lindsay if you would like to discuss this further.

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