When Harry met Sally
When Harry met Sally it was pretty much love at first sight. After a period of courtship, they took the plunge to sell their respective properties and buy 'Tinker Cottage' together on a 50/50 basis. They later got married, it was a second marriage for both of them.
Harry has two adult daughters from a previous relationship, Dolly and Polly and Sally has two adult sons from a previous relationship Bertie and Charlie.
Harry and Sally came to see us to make Wills. They were clear that they wanted to take care of the survivor, whichever of them died first, but they were concerned about what might happen after first death. What if the survivor met someone else and changed their Will and then Tinker Cottage went to a new partner? What if the survivor had to go into a care home and use up the money tied up in their home?
Harry and Sally wanted to ensure that ultimately their respective children inherited their 50% share of the Cottage and wondered what they could do. Harry and Sally wanted to ensure that things were as watertight and transparent as possible for their family. In particular, they wanted to know more about 'Home Protection Will Trusts'.
Well, what is a Home Protection Will Trust? A Home Protection Will Trust is an affordable and easy way to protect your share of your home's value.
Harry and Sally would need to own their home jointly at the Land Registry as 'Tenants in Common' to enable their respective Wills to control the ultimate destination of their share of Tinker Cottage.
Let's say that Harry were to die first. Under the terms of his Will, his 50% interest in the Cottage would pass into a Will Trust (full details of the trust - including Sally's obligations to pay the outgoings - would be set out in Will itself). This means that Sally would have the legal right to reside at Tinker Cottage and have full use of Harry's 50% share for her lifetime. On Sally's death that share of Tinker Cottage would pass to Harry's ultimate beneficiaries, Dolly and Polly.
To be clear, Sally does not own Harry's 50% share of Tinker Cottage. Sally continues to own her own 50% interest and her Will would be in mirror format and should set out that her sons Bertie and Charlie are the ultimate beneficiaries of her 50% share of Tinker Cottage.
If, in the future, Sally meets a toy boy then she cannot change the arrangements that Harry has put in place in respect of his half share.
Should Sally need to go into long term care in the future then only her 50% interest in the cottage could potentially be utilised towards funding her long term care. Harry's share should not be taken into account.
More information on Home Protection Will Trusts can be found here.
For individual advice and assistance contact our Wills, Probate and Trusts Team to find out how we can help.
Please note: this Blog is a case study we have drafted to bring to life how Home Protection Will Trusts can be used. All names used are fictitious.