We own it 50/50, right?

We own it 50/50, right?

You live there and you own it with your spouse, or wait, do you? 

Property ownership is one of those odd things that people forget how it’s owned.

When you bought the house, you could’ve bought it in three different ways and how you bought it will affect what happens to it when you die.

Sole Ownership

Mr Ahmed bought the house and owns all of it, his wife’s name is nowhere to be seen.  When he dies, the entire house will pass under his will.

Joint Tenancy

Mr Ahmed and his wife have equal rights to the whole property and the property automatically goes to the other owner if you die. So, on Mr Ahmed’s death his wife owns the whole property (as she did when he was alive). In this case none of Mr Ahmed’s ownership in the house will pass under his will. 

Tenancy in Common

Mr Ahmed has specified that both he and his wife own 50% of the property each. On Mr Ahmed’s death the full property doesn’t automatically go to his wife. Instead, his 50% share will pass under his will.

It doesn’t help that a Joint Tenancy and a Tenancy in Common are very different but the key word is identical in both. This often leads to a lot of confusion, but you can see the effect which your property ownership will have on your potential inheritors is huge. The joint tenancy may have the unintended result that people who should inherit may not inherit e.g. Mr Ahmed’s son from his first wife may lose out if the whole property goes to Mr Ahmed’s wife.

How do you check how your property is held?

You can find out what type of joint ownership you have by checking documents such as a:

Property transfer

Property lease

Trust deed, also known as a ‘declaration of trust’.

So there you have it! A simple guide to finding out how your property is held. If you have any questions related to this topic (or anything else on Islamic wills), contact us via the live chat between 10am and 6pm Monday to Friday. 

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