Joint possession of property can have unintended penalties

After we purchased our residence in 2013, we put our son’s identify on the deeds, considering it may be helpful sooner or later. We’ve found just lately, once more after studying your articles, that the deeds don’t specify which sort of tenancy now we have, which our solicitor has informed us means it’s a joint tenancy.

We need to change to a tenancy in widespread in an effort to be truthful to our daughter, as this residence constitutes the majority of our property. Our son doesn’t dwell right here, he has his own residence.

We’ve been unable to acquire recommendation from our solicitor. I’m wondering for those who might tell us what’s concerned in altering, and what it may cost a little?

Ms M.M., e-mail

Property possession generally is a complicated at the perfect of occasions; shared or co-ownership solely provides to the potential for complexity and confusion. That’s exactly the place you’ll anticipate a lawyer to have interaction actively with their shoppers to make sure they’re conscious of the implications.

For no matter cause, that doesn’t appear to have occurred right here. Or if it did, there have been some crossed wires.

Amongst non-public people there are typically two types of co-ownership – joint tenancy or tenancy in widespread. They sound alike however they’re fairly distinct with very totally different management over the asset – whether or not that’s a property as on this case, or shares, a portray or a again account.

Joint tenancy presumes that everybody has an equal share within the asset. Extra importantly, when one proprietor dies their share passes routinely to the surviving proprietor(s).

Tenancy in widespread, quite the opposite, signifies that every of the house owners has management of a definite share of the asset. It doesn’t must be equal shares however within the absence of another specified distribution, that may be the presumption.

In that situation, every particular person proprietor is free to get rid of there share as they select. That would contain them promoting it or giving it away throughout their lifetime or it might be that they go away it to somebody in a will. In the event that they die with out stating what ought to occur their share, it will likely be handled underneath the principles of intestacy impartial of the shares of the opposite house owners.

When a pair is making a property buy, they’re presumed to be performing underneath joint tenancy until in any other case particularly indicated. For different co-owners, the usual apply is that the type of tenancy is set on the level of buy and indicated when the property is registered with Land Registry.

I’ve searched Land Registry and your property just isn’t listed there which suggests its particulars must be obtainable from the Registry of Deeds. If , as your present solicitor advises, the deeds don’t point out a particular type of tenancy, I might think about that it will likely be seen as a joint tenancy, given the circumstances of the acquisition.

Whenever you purchased the residence again in 2003, I’m guessing you assumed having your son’s identify on the deeds may be helpful for inheritance or reward tax functions down the road. That will additionally point out a joint tenancy association.

Nonetheless, I’m not positive if that may have labored. Whereas joint tenancy does imply that each / all events personal the property and that it’ll go to surviving joint tenants exterior any will, for inheritance tax calculation functions, the Income Commissioners would probably need proof of the place the funds got here to buy the property within the first place.

In case your son didn’t contribute his share of the acquisition worth, Income would probably contemplate the complete worth of the property in opposition to his inheritance tax-free threshold or tax legal responsibility.

Anyway, regardless of the origins,your fundamental concern now could be to change the association to make sure that each of your kids are handled equally in your loss of life as this residence is basically your fundamental asset.

You say you could have been unable to get any recommendation on the topic out of your solicitor. I’m considerably at a loss on that. Except there’s a battle of curiosity – i.e. the solicitor individually represents each you and your son – I can see no cause why they’d not supply recommendation on this matter.

It seems to be a reasonably simple course of. The large factor, nonetheless, is that you just can’t sever the present association with out the categorical written consent of all events. Which means you’ll need to safe written settlement with the proposal out of your son in addition to every of you two.

If for any cause that was not forthcoming, you could possibly individually petition the Excessive Courtroom to override his lack of consent – primarily arguing that he was unreasonable in withholding his consent. However litigating in opposition to your individual son might be complicated in addition to having the potential for a significant breakdown in household relations. And as with something to do with the Excessive Courtroom, it could come at a major value.

Nonetheless, assuming your son is content material to conform to the severing of the (presumed) joint tenancy and its substitute with an settlement that the property is owned as tenants in widespread with every proprietor having a stipulated share within the property, it’s a matter of all events signing a reasonably simple authorized doc drawn as much as mirror your needs.

This could be drawn up by a solicitor, which is why I’m fairly gobsmacked at your present solicitor’s place that she or he can’t advise you on the method. It ought to value not more than a few hundred euro.

There are authorized firms on-line that supply such a service and documentation on-line for lower than €150 though, on the whole, my desire – and, I’m positive, yours – can be that you just cope with your individual trusted authorized adviser.

Please ship your queries to Dominic Coyle, Q&A, The Irish Occasions, 24-28 Tara Avenue, Dublin 2, or e-mail This column is a reader service and isn’t supposed to switch skilled recommendation. No private correspondence will likely be entered into

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