If you are preparing your will and you wish to leave some property behind, it is a straightforward process. Property can form a large part of your estate. Whether it is your family home or other properties that you own, leaving your property in a formally drafted will can leave your loved ones financially secure and settled. Property inheritance disputes can occur, however, if matters are not settled accordingly. If you find yourself wondering how to solve a will dispute, we are here to help.
Here at Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham, we have years of experience in handling inheritance disputes of all kinds, including claims of invalidity, property disputes and claims made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. We can analyse your claim and build a case with merit, strengthening your legal standing and providing expert legal advice. If you’re unsure as to how you can leave your property behind, we can assist.
Should I Make a Will or Trust?
Before choosing between a will or a trust, you need to be aware of the key differences between them. A Will comes into effect once you pass away, whereas trusts are enacted the day that they are created. Trusts are put in place to ensure that your loved ones, such as small children, have financial stability in the future. If you wish to leave your property to a loved one but you want to ensure that they are the owner as soon as they are old enough, then a trust might be the better option.
If you want to leave your property to someone after your death, consider placing it in your will. Usually, individuals wish to leave their property to their children, so they can do with it what they please. The property can be split if you wish to leave it to more than one person; this way, they can decide between them what they do with the property, or they can even sell their share. However, if the property is jointly owned, there are rules that come into play, which will be explained below.
Legal issues can still occur throughout the process, especially if the will or trust is not made correctly. You must have the appropriate mental capacity to write a will, which can be disputed following your death. If you are wondering how to solve a will dispute, you can contact us for a free consultation here.
Avoiding Inheritance Tax on Property
Inheritance tax is a tax placed upon the estate of someone who has died. Tax usually needs to be paid on any estate worth more than £325,000 but can be avoided if it is below this or left to a spouse, civil partner, or charity. Leaving your property in a trust is a great way to avoid inheritance tax, but if you wish to leave your property in your will, there are ways to avoid the hefty fees that can occur.
If you leave your home to someone who is not your spouse, it will be classed as part of your estate and inheritance tax could apply. If you leave your home to your children or grandchildren, and the estate is worth less than £2 million, the tax-free value rises to £500,000. To find out more about inheritance tax thresholds, please visit the Government’s website here.
Joint Ownership Rules
If you own the property with another person, such as your spouse, then you are known as joint tenants. If you die before your spouse, then the current rules dictate that the surviving spouse will become the joint owner. This cannot be avoided and will override laws such as the laws of intestacy. However, you can arrange for a ‘tenants in common’ arrangement. This means that you will both own 50%, and you can leave the other 50% to whomever you like.
If you encounter any estate disputes involving joint ownership, we can help you build your case and provide advice. We will always aim to keep your case out of court wherever possible, implementing alternative dispute resolution.
How to Solve a Will Dispute: Properties
Planning for life after your death can be a difficult process, but it is an important one, nonetheless. Ensuring that your estate is left to the right people can avoid potential disputes arising in the future, making things easier for your loved ones. However, figuring out how to solve a will dispute on your own can be tricky, but legal experts are on hand.
To find out more, or to book a free consultation, please give us a call on 0208 769 6739.