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HERITAGE LEGAL

ESTATE PLANNING LLP - WILLS | CODICILS | LPA

When it is too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney

Each time I see a client to take instructions to draw up their will, I also talk to them about why a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is so important.  An LPA is a legal document appointing people you trust to make decisions and act for you if you are unable to do so in the future.  There are two types of LPA;

Health and welfare - covering decisions regarding medical treatment and the  care you receive and

Property and Finance - covering everything from paying bills, opening and closing bank accounts and buying and selling property.

Crucially, your decision to draw up an LPA must be done whilst you have good mental capacity.  Many people choose not to draw up an LPA because they feel they are too young and healthy and can't foresee the need for one. Given the shocking statistics that 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 are suffering with dementia*, making an LPA early will ensure that someone you trust can manage your finances and healthcare as soon as you are unable to do so.

If there is no LPA, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection to become a 'Deputy'.  This can be an expensive and lengthy process at a time which will also be difficult for your family.  Application fees are £400 each for Property & Finance and Health & Welfare, there care also be a £500 fee if a court hearing is needed plus annual fees of £320.  Currently, the waiting time from making an application is between 4-6 months.

Martin Lewis gave an interview on This Morning at the start of this year on the importance of making a will and LPA.  Interestingly enough, the money expert confirmed that he has an LPA in place at the age of 42.  https://youtu.be/7chQtUYtBLw

Lasting Power of Attorney's were introduced in 2007, prior to this you would have had an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).  EPAs are still valid if you drew one up before 2007, it would need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it could be used.  

If you would like to discuss making an LPA or will, we would be delighted to speak to you.

Tel 079100 74611

www.heritagelegalep.co.uk

* Source Alzheimer's Society

 
 

West Berkshire Business Awards

We are delighted to announce that Heritage Legal Estate Planning has reached the final in the Best Start Up Company category at the West Berkshire Business Awards.  It really has been a team effort and partners, Rachel Harding and Ally Ilott, feel enormously proud of our Consultants, Jo Francis and Rachel Lambden.  We are all looking forward to the award ceremony on 14th October.

It's only a piece of paper

 

A phrase I often hear is:

'We have chosen not to get married because a piece of paper won't change anything.'

And I agree - in terms of their commitment to each other and how they feel about each other anyway.  However, legally, that 'piece of paper' makes a huge difference if one partner passes away.

With no will in place, the intestacy rules come into play and beneficiaries have already been decided.  For an unmarried couple - the surviving partner is legally entitled to nothing.  This can be challenged through the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 but there is no guarantee of success and it is, at best, a very lengthy process.  Financial uncertainty at a time of emotional distress.

A piece of paper which removes the uncertainty and unnecessary stress is a professionally drafted will.  Making a will removes the need for a 'one size fits all' hierarchy of beneficiaries and puts the control back with the person who has worked hard to accumulate their assets.  Making a will is making a choice.

We work closely with Financial Advisers, Mortgage Brokers, Accountants and other professionals to offer a professional, affordable service to your clients in their own home at a time to suit them.

Please call us on 079100 74611 to discuss how we can help your clients.

www.heritagelegalep.co.uk

 
 

 

Pension Death Benefits

July 11, 2016

Following the overhaul of pensions in April 2015, much has been publicised about the new freedoms around accessing your pension and the much improved options about being able to pass your pension benefits on to your loved ones in the event of death, however there has been less publicity about the fact that your existing pension plan may not allow your beneficiaries the full flexibility allowed under the new regime.

The details in this article purely relate to defined contribution (money purchase) plans and do not apply to defined benefit (final salary) plans.

The new death benefit rules for money purchase (defined contribution) pensions mean that in the event of death prior to age 75, your entire pension pot can be left to any nominated beneficiary completely free of tax. If death occurs after the age of 75, your pension pot can still be left to any nominated beneficiary, although the receiving beneficiary will pay income tax on the funds when they are paid out. The fund will be added to the beneficiaries earned income in that tax year. This means that if the beneficiary receives a sizeable death benefit payment, they may be liable to higher rate (40%) or additional rate (45%) tax on some or all of the payment.

It is possible to plan around this tax liability if the beneficiary opts for ‘beneficiaries flexi access drawdown’. This option works by allowing the death benefit payment to be paid in to a beneficiaries pension plan, instead of being paid out in a single lump sum. Once the fund is within the beneficiaries flexi access drawdown fund, the beneficiary can withdraw as much or as little as and when required. This means that the beneficiary is in complete control of how much tax they pay. If they do not require the income it is possible to not take any benefits. An additional benefit is that in the event of the beneficiaries death, they can also nominate their own beneficiaries to receive the fund. This means that a pension pot can be passed from generation to generation with good planning.

It is worth noting that whilst money is held in a pension it is not assessed for inheritance tax upon death, which makes it more attractive for many people to retain the money within a ‘pension wrapper’.

All the above flexibility sounds great, however most people are not aware that many older style pension plans will not fully support the ability to offer a ‘beneficiaries flexi access drawdown’ plan and will instead only be able to pay out a cash lump sum to the beneficiaries, which could potentially expose them to an unwelcome tax sting.

If you are considering including your pension plan into your estate planning strategy it is highly recommended that you establish whether or not your existing plan would offer the beneficiaries the ability to retain the benefits within a pension. It is also highly recommended that you ensure your pension death benefit nomination form has your desired beneficiaries named. Again, this should be checked with your pension provider.

If you would like to know more call 079100 74611.

Is it necessary to make a new will following a divorce?

July 8, 2016

Following any major life event you should revisit your will, and divorce is no different.  Although, unlike marriage, divorce does not automatically revoke any previous will you have made in its entirety, when you become divorced your will is effected is quite a substantial manner. 

Any gifts you left to your ex-spouse would fail and if you have appointed them as Executor or as Guardian of your children that were not biologically theirs, these appointments would also fail.  This could mean, that upon your death, your loved ones would be faced with complicated legalities in trying to appoint substitute Executors and Guardians through the Court.  This could cost them dearly in terms of time and money at an already difficult and emotional time in their lives.

If you are going through a divorce and would like to review your will or make a completely new one, please do not hesitate to call us on 079100 74611 or email wills@heritagelegalep.co.uk.  We visit all clients in their own home at a time to suit them.

What is a Living Will?

July 6, 2016

We have recently seen an increased level of enquiries about a Living Will, so this is what you need to know.

A Living Will is an opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings about what type of medical/health care you would prefer in the event of you losing capacity to make these decisions in the future or being unable to communicate your decision. The term refers to an 'Advance Statement' and/or 'Advance Decision (to refuse treatment).

An Advance Statement is NOT legally binding but is a useful guide to medical professionals providing your care and treatment.  It is an opportunity to state your preferences for things like what type of food you enjoy or dislike, whether you prefer to take a bath or a shower, your religious views and where you would prefer to be cared for.  this list is by no means exhaustive.

An Advance Decision (to refuse treatment) IS legally binding.  It is only used if you are unable to communicate your decisions (e.g. in the event of dementia/coma) Those providing medical care MUST abide by your wishes, even if by refusing a certain medication it means it may lead to your death.  It does not need to be in writing unless it includes refusal of life sustaining treatment.  This is not to be confused with asking for your life to be ended (euthanasia) which is illegal in the UK.

What is the difference between an Advance Decision and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health and Welfare?

In the event of you making both an LPA and an Advance Decision - it is whichever was completed last which is legally binding.  For example, if you made an Advance Decision after making an LPA your attorney would not be able to over-rule the Advance Decision.  If the LPA was completed after the Advance Decision, your attorney may have the discretion to make decisions if you have permitted them to do so.

For information or guidance on the best course of action for you, please contact our legal team on 079100 74611

Lasting Power of Attorney - Planning for the unexpected

February 11, 2016

Few of us want to consider the possibility that we may be unable to make decisions for ourselves but the reality is that approximately 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, of these 40,000 are under the age of 65.  With forecasts predicting this will rise to over 1 million by 2025 (Alzheimer’s Society) it is becoming a reality for many.  Nobody knows what the future holds but by planning ahead you can ensure your wishes are carried out and alleviate the burden on those close to you.

One way of doing this is to make a Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA), which would enable the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so yourself.   An LPA is, quite simply,  a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.  To make an LPA you must be 18 or over and, crucially, have mental capacity (The ability to make your own decisions) – for this reason more people are choosing to set up their LPA earlier in life.

LPAs were introduced in October 2007 and replaced the Enduring Power Of Attorney (EPA).  An EPA created before October 2007 remains valid.

There are two types of LPA, the first deals with Property and Financial Affairs – your attorney would be able to manage your bank or building society account, pay your bills, collect your benefits or pension or sell your home.  This type of LPA can start (with your permission) before you lose mental capacity and may take the worry of dealing with your own finances away.

The second type of LPA deals with Health and Welfare  - your attorney would make decisions on things like what you wear, what you eat, where you live, what medical care you would had.  They would also make decisions on care homes or life sustaining treatment.  This type of LPA would only start when you lose mental capacity.

We recommend that you choose your attorney(s) carefully – it could be a relative, friend, spouse, partner or someone acting in a professional capacity but essentially is should be someone you trust, who would always have your best interests at heart.  When you have made your decision you should give that person time to think about their role as it carries great responsibility.

If you decide to appoint more than one attorney, another decision you need to make is whether you want them to always act ‘jointly’ which would mean decisions could not be made without the agreement of all parties or whether you would prefer an arrangement where they would act ‘jointly and severally’ meaning that for some decisions they would decide jointly but each would have the ability for make some decisions alone.

Once completed, your LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for it to be valid.  For each LPA you register the OPG charges a fee of £110 currently.  Registration can take at least 4 weeks.

Our legal team would be happy to discuss your options in more detail together with the pros and cons of each course of action.

What points do you need to consider when making your will?

January 25, 2016

Clients who are making a will for the very first time often tell us that they had no idea what kind of matters they would need to consider when making their will.  That's completely understandable! Here's a list of a few of the things you will need to have thought about before one of our consultants comes to see you :

  • Executors : You will need to appoint up to four people to be named as Executors in your will.  Executors are responsible for obtaining probate after your death and ensuring that the wishes stated in your will are carried out.  They will ensure that any debts are paid off, any specific gifts are distributed in accordance with your wishes, any business matters are dealt with and that all beneficiaries receive what is due to them under your will. Executors are usually able to claim for any time and expenses they incur, as a result of carrying out the role, from your Estate.  It is advisable to appoint more than one Executor as the role can sometimes be quite demanding, often at an already emotional time. Executors can also be beneficiaries.
  • Trustees : Trustees are responsible for looking after any money or possessions placed in Trust (for example, for your children).  Trustees are often, but not always, the same people as the Executors.
  • Guardians : You should give careful thought to who you would like to appoint as guardian/s for your children in the event of your death.  Guardianship only comes into play if both people with parental responsibility have died. You may specify wishes for the upbringing of your children (i.e. that you would like them to remain living in the local area, or would like them to maintain close contact with certain family members).
  • Distributing your assets : have a think about how you would like the majority of your assets to be distributed. Also, think about whether there are any items of value or sentimentality (for example) that you would like to leave to a specific friend or family member.
  • Funeral wishes : These days it is usual to state in your will whether you would like to be buried or cremated after your death.  You can leave it at that, or you can include more details about what kind of 'farewell' you would like.

The important thing is, don't worry if you are still feeling unsure about some of these matters when one of our consultant comes to see you.  It is important to be entirely happy with the contents of your will and we understand that there are difficult decisions to be made.

Getting married? You will need to revisit your will!

January 25, 2016

Many people are not aware that getting married can automatically revoke your existing will, leaving your estate to be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules (which may not reflect your wishes!). Get in touch on 079100 74611 if you would like to revisit your existing will or would like to make a new one.

Understanding the importance of professional will writing

January 23, 2016

Having a properly drafted and executed will in place is vital to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed in accordance with your wishes after your death. Heritage Estate Planning offers a specialist will writing service availabe in your home or place of business.

Partner, Rachel Harding says, ‘I continue to be surprised by the amount of people that do not have a will. I completely understand that people have busy lives and writing a will is often something that gets pushed to the bottom of their ‘to-do list’. However, having an up to date will in place is not only vital to ensure that your money, property and possessions are distributed exactly how you wish after your death, but can also make the lives of those you have left behind a little less daunting.’

Appointing a guardian for your children

January 23, 2016

Appointing a guardian for your children will ensure that, in the event of the death of both yourself and your children’s other parent, your children will be taken care of by someone chosen by you – someone you to trust to love and support your children in your absence.

Appointing a guardian for your children will ensure that, in the event of the death of both yourself and your children’s other parent, your children will be taken care of by someone chosen by you – someone you to trust to love and support your children in your absence

Joint tenants -v- tenants in common : why does it make a difference?

January 23, 2016

When you purchase a property with somebody, for example, your partner, legally you will either own the property as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’.  When you own the property as joint tenants you both own the whole property.  However, when you own the property as ‘tenants in common’ you will each own a share of the property – usually, but not always, on a 50/50 basis.  The significance of this for the purpose of writing a will is that, whatever your wishes may be regarding how your estate is distributed on the event of your death, if you own the property as joint tenants, your ‘share’ of the property will automatically pass to the other other owner when you die. It is only if you own the property as tenants in common that you are able to specify that your share of the property be left to someone other than the person with whom you jointly own the property.  Increasingly, people are choosing – in order to protect their children’s inheritance – to leave their share of the property they own directly to their children, giving their spouse or partner a life interest in the property (i.e. allowing them to remain living there until their own death or, perhaps, remarriage).  This can ONLY be done if you own the property as tenants in common!  If you are unsure, check the title deeds for your property or ask your solicitor for clarification.

Pension Death Benefits

July 11, 2016

Following the overhaul of pensions in April 2015, much has been publicised about the new freedoms around accessing your pension and the much improved options about being able to pass your pension benefits on to your loved ones in the event of death, however there has been less publicity about the fact that your existing pension plan may not allow your beneficiaries the full flexibility allowed under the new regime.

The details in this article purely relate to defined contribution (money purchase) plans and do not apply to defined benefit (final salary) plans.

The new death benefit rules for money purchase (defined contribution) pensions mean that in the event of death prior to age 75, your entire pension pot can be left to any nominated beneficiary completely free of tax. If death occurs after the age of 75, your pension pot can still be left to any nominated beneficiary, although the receiving beneficiary will pay income tax on the funds when they are paid out. The fund will be added to the beneficiaries earned income in that tax year. This means that if the beneficiary receives a sizeable death benefit payment, they may be liable to higher rate (40%) or additional rate (45%) tax on some or all of the payment.

It is possible to plan around this tax liability if the beneficiary opts for ‘beneficiaries flexi access drawdown’. This option works by allowing the death benefit payment to be paid in to a beneficiaries pension plan, instead of being paid out in a single lump sum. Once the fund is within the beneficiaries flexi access drawdown fund, the beneficiary can withdraw as much or as little as and when required. This means that the beneficiary is in complete control of how much tax they pay. If they do not require the income it is possible to not take any benefits. An additional benefit is that in the event of the beneficiaries death, they can also nominate their own beneficiaries to receive the fund. This means that a pension pot can be passed from generation to generation with good planning.

It is worth noting that whilst money is held in a pension it is not assessed for inheritance tax upon death, which makes it more attractive for many people to retain the money within a ‘pension wrapper’.

All the above flexibility sounds great, however most people are not aware that many older style pension plans will not fully support the ability to offer a ‘beneficiaries flexi access drawdown’ plan and will instead only be able to pay out a cash lump sum to the beneficiaries, which could potentially expose them to an unwelcome tax sting.

If you are considering including your pension plan into your estate planning strategy it is highly recommended that you establish whether or not your existing plan would offer the beneficiaries the ability to retain the benefits within a pension. It is also highly recommended that you ensure your pension death benefit nomination form has your desired beneficiaries named. Again, this should be checked with your pension provider.

If you would like to know more call 079100 74611.

Is it necessary to make a new will following a divorce?

July 8, 2016

Following any major life event you should revisit your will, and divorce is no different.  Although, unlike marriage, divorce does not automatically revoke any previous will you have made in its entirety, when you become divorced your will is effected is quite a substantial manner. 

Any gifts you left to your ex-spouse would fail and if you have appointed them as Executor or as Guardian of your children that were not biologically theirs, these appointments would also fail.  This could mean, that upon your death, your loved ones would be faced with complicated legalities in trying to appoint substitute Executors and Guardians through the Court.  This could cost them dearly in terms of time and money at an already difficult and emotional time in their lives.

If you are going through a divorce and would like to review your will or make a completely new one, please do not hesitate to call us on 079100 74611 or email wills@heritagelegalep.co.uk.  We visit all clients in their own home at a time to suit them.

What is a Living Will?

July 6, 2016

We have recently seen an increased level of enquiries about a Living Will, so this is what you need to know.

A Living Will is an opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings about what type of medical/health care you would prefer in the event of you losing capacity to make these decisions in the future or being unable to communicate your decision. The term refers to an 'Advance Statement' and/or 'Advance Decision (to refuse treatment).

An Advance Statement is NOT legally binding but is a useful guide to medical professionals providing your care and treatment.  It is an opportunity to state your preferences for things like what type of food you enjoy or dislike, whether you prefer to take a bath or a shower, your religious views and where you would prefer to be cared for.  this list is by no means exhaustive.

An Advance Decision (to refuse treatment) IS legally binding.  It is only used if you are unable to communicate your decisions (e.g. in the event of dementia/coma) Those providing medical care MUST abide by your wishes, even if by refusing a certain medication it means it may lead to your death.  It does not need to be in writing unless it includes refusal of life sustaining treatment.  This is not to be confused with asking for your life to be ended (euthanasia) which is illegal in the UK.

What is the difference between an Advance Decision and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health and Welfare?

In the event of you making both an LPA and an Advance Decision - it is whichever was completed last which is legally binding.  For example, if you made an Advance Decision after making an LPA your attorney would not be able to over-rule the Advance Decision.  If the LPA was completed after the Advance Decision, your attorney may have the discretion to make decisions if you have permitted them to do so.

For information or guidance on the best course of action for you, please contact our legal team on 079100 74611

Lasting Power of Attorney - Planning for the unexpected

February 11, 2016

Few of us want to consider the possibility that we may be unable to make decisions for ourselves but the reality is that approximately 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, of these 40,000 are under the age of 65.  With forecasts predicting this will rise to over 1 million by 2025 (Alzheimer’s Society) it is becoming a reality for many.  Nobody knows what the future holds but by planning ahead you can ensure your wishes are carried out and alleviate the burden on those close to you.

One way of doing this is to make a Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA), which would enable the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so yourself.   An LPA is, quite simply,  a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.  To make an LPA you must be 18 or over and, crucially, have mental capacity (The ability to make your own decisions) – for this reason more people are choosing to set up their LPA earlier in life.

LPAs were introduced in October 2007 and replaced the Enduring Power Of Attorney (EPA).  An EPA created before October 2007 remains valid.

There are two types of LPA, the first deals with Property and Financial Affairs – your attorney would be able to manage your bank or building society account, pay your bills, collect your benefits or pension or sell your home.  This type of LPA can start (with your permission) before you lose mental capacity and may take the worry of dealing with your own finances away.

The second type of LPA deals with Health and Welfare  - your attorney would make decisions on things like what you wear, what you eat, where you live, what medical care you would had.  They would also make decisions on care homes or life sustaining treatment.  This type of LPA would only start when you lose mental capacity.

We recommend that you choose your attorney(s) carefully – it could be a relative, friend, spouse, partner or someone acting in a professional capacity but essentially is should be someone you trust, who would always have your best interests at heart.  When you have made your decision you should give that person time to think about their role as it carries great responsibility.

If you decide to appoint more than one attorney, another decision you need to make is whether you want them to always act ‘jointly’ which would mean decisions could not be made without the agreement of all parties or whether you would prefer an arrangement where they would act ‘jointly and severally’ meaning that for some decisions they would decide jointly but each would have the ability for make some decisions alone.

Once completed, your LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for it to be valid.  For each LPA you register the OPG charges a fee of £110 currently.  Registration can take at least 4 weeks.

Our legal team would be happy to discuss your options in more detail together with the pros and cons of each course of action.

What points do you need to consider when making your will?

January 25, 2016

Clients who are making a will for the very first time often tell us that they had no idea what kind of matters they would need to consider when making their will.  That's completely understandable! Here's a list of a few of the things you will need to have thought about before one of our consultants comes to see you :

  • Executors : You will need to appoint up to four people to be named as Executors in your will.  Executors are responsible for obtaining probate after your death and ensuring that the wishes stated in your will are carried out.  They will ensure that any debts are paid off, any specific gifts are distributed in accordance with your wishes, any business matters are dealt with and that all beneficiaries receive what is due to them under your will. Executors are usually able to claim for any time and expenses they incur, as a result of carrying out the role, from your Estate.  It is advisable to appoint more than one Executor as the role can sometimes be quite demanding, often at an already emotional time. Executors can also be beneficiaries.
  • Trustees : Trustees are responsible for looking after any money or possessions placed in Trust (for example, for your children).  Trustees are often, but not always, the same people as the Executors.
  • Guardians : You should give careful thought to who you would like to appoint as guardian/s for your children in the event of your death.  Guardianship only comes into play if both people with parental responsibility have died. You may specify wishes for the upbringing of your children (i.e. that you would like them to remain living in the local area, or would like them to maintain close contact with certain family members).
  • Distributing your assets : have a think about how you would like the majority of your assets to be distributed. Also, think about whether there are any items of value or sentimentality (for example) that you would like to leave to a specific friend or family member.
  • Funeral wishes : These days it is usual to state in your will whether you would like to be buried or cremated after your death.  You can leave it at that, or you can include more details about what kind of 'farewell' you would like.

The important thing is, don't worry if you are still feeling unsure about some of these matters when one of our consultant comes to see you.  It is important to be entirely happy with the contents of your will and we understand that there are difficult decisions to be made.

Getting married? You will need to revisit your will!

January 25, 2016

Many people are not aware that getting married can automatically revoke your existing will, leaving your estate to be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules (which may not reflect your wishes!). Get in touch on 079100 74611 if you would like to revisit your existing will or would like to make a new one.

Understanding the importance of professional will writing

January 23, 2016

Having a properly drafted and executed will in place is vital to ensure that your money and possessions are distributed in accordance with your wishes after your death. Heritage Estate Planning offers a specialist will writing service availabe in your home or place of business.

Partner, Rachel Harding says, ‘I continue to be surprised by the amount of people that do not have a will. I completely understand that people have busy lives and writing a will is often something that gets pushed to the bottom of their ‘to-do list’. However, having an up to date will in place is not only vital to ensure that your money, property and possessions are distributed exactly how you wish after your death, but can also make the lives of those you have left behind a little less daunting.’

Appointing a guardian for your children

January 23, 2016

Appointing a guardian for your children will ensure that, in the event of the death of both yourself and your children’s other parent, your children will be taken care of by someone chosen by you – someone you to trust to love and support your children in your absence.

Appointing a guardian for your children will ensure that, in the event of the death of both yourself and your children’s other parent, your children will be taken care of by someone chosen by you – someone you to trust to love and support your children in your absence

Joint tenants -v- tenants in common : why does it make a difference?

January 23, 2016

When you purchase a property with somebody, for example, your partner, legally you will either own the property as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’.  When you own the property as joint tenants you both own the whole property.  However, when you own the property as ‘tenants in common’ you will each own a share of the property – usually, but not always, on a 50/50 basis.  The significance of this for the purpose of writing a will is that, whatever your wishes may be regarding how your estate is distributed on the event of your death, if you own the property as joint tenants, your ‘share’ of the property will automatically pass to the other other owner when you die. It is only if you own the property as tenants in common that you are able to specify that your share of the property be left to someone other than the person with whom you jointly own the property.  Increasingly, people are choosing – in order to protect their children’s inheritance – to leave their share of the property they own directly to their children, giving their spouse or partner a life interest in the property (i.e. allowing them to remain living there until their own death or, perhaps, remarriage).  This can ONLY be done if you own the property as tenants in common!  If you are unsure, check the title deeds for your property or ask your solicitor for clarification.