Frequently asked Questions – Conveyancing
By Kayley Wilson

Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common – do you know the difference?

When property is purchased by more than one person, ownership can be in two forms as either Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.  Joint Tenants as the name implies means that the owners are entitled to an equal share of the property whereas Tenants in Common allows ownership in either equal or unequal shares.  The Right of Survivorship does not apply to a Tenancy in Common, so on the death of one owner, the remaining owner or owners do not automatically take that share as they would in a Joint Tenancy.  This has the benefit that the share of the deceased owner can then pass through their will or intestacy and if required be held on a lifetime trust for another or pass straight to beneficiaries.

If you have any questions regarding Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common please contact;

Sarah Clarke


Kelly Harrison

or alternatively ring our office on 01625 429131 where we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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Inheritance Tax Changes
By Kayley Wilson

To take full advantage of the new inheritance tax changes made in last summer’s budget, it is important to check the legacies you have made in your will.  As you may already know, the main thrust of the change is an extra inheritance tax allowance of up to £175,000 per person but in order to maximise on this new tax benefit, the beneficiary must be a direct descendant of yours.  Should you wish to check the provisions you have made in your will or if you to make a change to your will, call Blunts now to arrange an appointment.

Currently the inheritance tax threshold (nil-rate band) for married couples and civil partners is £325,000 per person which can mean that up to £650,000 can pass tax free.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer made some important changes to this in the summer budget of 2015 by the introduction of an additional main residence nil -rate band.

This announcement provides for an additional nil-rate band when a residence is passed on death to a direct descendant.  Initially, this will be £100,000 in 2017/18 rising each year until it reaches £175,000 by 2020/21.  The additional nil-rate band will then increase annually in accordance with the Consumer Prices Index.  The additional nil-rate band will take the following form:

2017/2018                           £100,000

2018/2019                           £125,000

2019/2020                           £150,000

2020/2021                           £175,000


This extra allowance is per person and is also transferrable on the death of the survivor in a marriage or civil partnership.   This means that by 2020, the existing £650,000 nil-rate band can be increased by £175,000 for each person adding an extra £350,000 making the total allowance before inheritance tax £1million.  However, should an estate have assets in excess of £2million then there is a tapered withdrawal of this additional allowance at the rate of £2 for every £1 over £2million, meaning that estates worth £2.7million and over do not benefit by the new changes at all.

The definition of direct descendant is a child (including step-child and foster child, of the deceased and their lineal descendants), if there are no children, the new allowance is not applicable. This extra nil-rate band will still be available if the person had sold or downsized their home on or after 8th July 2015 and has assets of an equivalent value up to the size of the additional nil-rate band.  The existing £325,000 threshold will remain frozen until the end of 2020 to 2021.  This new inheritance tax change comes into force on 6th April 2017.

Value of family home  Value of other assets  Value of the estate  IHT liability now  IHT liability from April 2020 
£175,000 £175,000 £350,000 Nil Nil
£200,000 £300,000 £500,000 Nil Nil
£250,000 £400,000 £650,000 Nil Nil
£400,000 £600,000 £1,000,000 £140,000 Nil
£750,000 £750,000 £1,500,000 £340,000 £200,000
£1,000,000 £1,000,000 £2,000,000 £540,000 £400,000


Example Source:  Daily Telegraph 8 July 2015.

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