Independent Legal Specialists

Severance of Tenancy and Power of Attorney – More Information

On this page, you’ll find more information about power of attorney and severance of tenancy. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly experts for further details about the services we have to offer.

Severance of Tenancy

Severing a joint tenancy is the process by which a joint tenancy is converted into a tenancy in common. Most house ‘co-owners’ own their home as ‘joint tenants’. This means that if one joint owner dies, the survivor would own the total value outright, irrespective of what might be written in a will. Furthermore, the whole value would be means-tested where care costs are assessed.

There is an alternative method of ownership, known as ‘tenancy in common’. This means that each of the ‘co-owners’ owns a share of the property and can deal with it as they wish. To make this change from a joint tenancy, there must be a Severance of Tenancy agreement between the owners that is recorded at the Land Registry. To effect this change, all owners sign a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy, which is then stored with the deeds relating to the property.

Benefits of a Severance of Tenancy

A Severance of Tenancy allows a co-owner of a property to dispose of their share in the property as they see fit through a will. A Severance of Tenancy agreement may also be used as part of an inheritance tax avoidance strategy. In addition, it assists with reducing exposure to “the cost of care”.

Features of a Severance of Tenancy

Property may be owned by more than one person, either as joint owners or as owners in common. Upon the death of one joint owner, their share passes, by survivorship, to the surviving owner regardless of their wishes as expressed in their will. Upon the death of an owner in common, however, their share is passed on in accordance with their wishes as expressed in their will.

Power of Attorney

The Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful document that gives your attorneys the power to make decisions on your behalf. Nobody likes to think about losing the ability to look after their own affairs, but the reality is that many people require assistance as their mental health deteriorates.

Making a Power of Attorney allows you to nominate someone that you care about, and who cares about you, to act on your behalf should the time ever arise when you can no longer act for yourself. Power of Attorneys can be useful in cases involving dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or any mental health problem. It is important that a Power of Attorney is prepared before you, as an individual, lose your mental capacity.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a means by which you give someone the authority to act on your behalf in relation to your property, finances, health, and welfare in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which appoints a person or persons of your choice as your attorney. There are 2 different kinds of Lasting Power of Attorney, described below.

Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

This kind of LPA is designed for you to appoint an attorney to make decisions on your behalf relating to buying and selling property and other assets, managing bank accounts and building society accounts, dealing with pension or benefit claims, and manging tax affairs. Essentially, your attorney can act in any way that you may currently act.

You may wish to choose an attorney who is a friend or relative. You can include within your Power of Attorney guidance and conditions that will help your attorney to act on your behalf.

Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A Personal Welfare Attorney allows the person appointed as your attorney to make decisions related to your living accommodation and care. They may consent to or refuse medical treatment on your behalf, and manage other day-to-day matters such as diet and dress. You may include guidance and conditions that will help your attorneys when making decisions on your behalf.

It is possible to establish one or both types of Power of Attorney depending on your requirements. However, a Lasting Power of Attorney must be appointed before you become incapable of dealing with your own affairs.

Contact us today, in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, for more information about the services we have to offer.