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Declarations of Trust
People who purchase a property together, or who help a relative to buy a home with a lump sum, need to legally record what contribution has been made by each person. This is referred to as a Declaration of Trust or Deed of Trust.
If you want legal advice on how to draw up a Declaration of Trust, or are thinking of purchasing a home with a partner and want legal advice on how best to protect your investment, the experts at JMW Solicitors can help.
For many years we have guided couples through this complicated area of the law, and we can help to ensure that buying a property together is a stress-free and happy process. To speak to one of our specialist solicitors, call 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form.
How JMW Can Help
At JMW, our solicitors have vast experience helping people draw up a Declaration of Trust that suits each party and both fully and legally outlines all the necessary information that will protect their investment and help to avoid disputes.
We also aim to provide you with legal advice that is easy to understand and free of legal jargon, and will guide you through the process in a hassle-free manner.
What is a Declaration of Trust?
A Declaration of Trust - also known as a Deed of Trust - can be used when two or more unmarried parties choose to move in together or decide to live in a property already owned by one of the prospective tenants.
It outlines the proportion of a property that is owned by each tenant, how it was funded and how the proceeds of a sale will be dealt with in the future. It can also be used to protect the investment of a third party (such as a parent) who is not in the title but has contributed to the purchase of the home.
The document is particularly useful for avoiding disputes relating to ownership of the property if a couple later splits up.
What should a Declaration of Trust include?
A Declaration of Trust should consider the following:
- How much of the mortgage is paid by each party
- How utilities and other outgoings will be paid for
- Provisions for children
- A method of valuing the property
- Arrangements in the event of buying each other out
The document should be prepared and signed at the same time as the purchase of a property and before any disagreements have taken place
It is legally binding and, should a dispute arise, can be produced to demonstrate the original agreement that was in place when the property was being purchased.
As long as all parties are in agreement, the document can be amended, or even waived completely.
How is a Declaration of Trust executed?
Executing the deed requires it to be signed, dated, attested by a (preferably independent) witness and then ‘delivered’, which simply means indicating that you intend to be bound by the deed.
What are the different ways a property can be owned jointly?
- There are two different ways in which you can own a property jointly, as:
Property held as joint tenants means each party owns an equal share of the property and has the equal, undivided right to keep or dispose of the property. This also means the property automatically goes to the other owners if you die, and that you cannot pass on ownership of the property in your will.
Tenants in common
Property held as tenants in common means that each tenant owns separate and distinct shares of the property. In this case the property won’t automatically go to the other owners if you die, and you are able to pass on your share of the property in your will.