One of our clients telephoned us to seek advice due to the fact she had married recently and she and her new husband were intending to buy a house together.
Our client informed us that her husband had been divorced twice and that she had been a widow prior to their marriage. Both parties were putting in the same amount 50/50 for a deposit and they also intended to open a joint bank account whereby they would both pay equal amounts of money for household bills. Her husband wanted them to own the property jointly so that when the first of them dies it would pass automatically to the other party. However, our client had a problem with this because she wanted her share of the new property to go to her children, especially as their father had died and also she believed that as her husband earned much more than her, and had no children from his previous marriages she felt this was reasonable should she die before him.
Our advice to her was that she needed to tell her new husband her plans and that she wanted any money from her share of the property to end up being left for her children if she were to die before he did. The property can still be held in joint names but as tenants in common in equal shares. If the property is held in this way when our client dies her half will pass under the terms of her will and so she could leave it to her children. It would also be sensible for a trust to be put into place to cover various circumnstances so that, if for example, her children wished to sell their half of the property they inherit then her husband could have an option to buy it for market value instead of the property being placed on the open market.