Buying a property is a huge undertaking. Whether clients are purchasing their very first home or are already very experienced in the matter, conveyancing solicitors support their clients through what’s likely to be a significant and exciting milestone.
Of course, in between the significant and exciting parts, the process can can be long and arduous. Conveyancing solicitors often get to know their clients very well during this period. Because of this, conveyancers naturally want to ensure everything goes smoothly not only with the property transaction itself, but also by ensuring their clients are well prepared for the future of home ownership.
Not only does this mean ensuring all pertinent questions about property rights, responsibilities and permissions have been properly answered and documented, it also means encouraging clients to get their legal affairs in order for the future, whatever it might bring.
There are a range of related legal considerations for clients to think about during this time, both before and after completion. It can be really helpful for conveyancing solicitors to talk their clients through some of these considerations and signpost them to other specialist legal professionals when appropriate.
These could include:
Making the right decision about joint ownership VS tenants in common
When two people buy a property together, they obviously need to decide whether to do this as ‘joint tenants’ or as ‘tenants in common’. There are key legal differences between these two different types of property ownership, but many clients won’t fully understand the implications of this.
If your clients are unsure about which option would be best for them, you may wish to recommend they discuss their options with a solicitor who specialises in private client law. A private client solicitor can help your clients decide which ownership option is right for them in the context of their other future plans, including estate planning, writing a Will and potential care home fee assessments.
Addressing estate and tax planning
Purchasing property can have a significant impact on an individual’s estate and future inheritance tax liabilities. This is particularly likely to be the case if the individual owns multiple properties for investment or buy-to-let purposes.
A specialist estate planning solicitor will be able to help your client fully assess the situation and put any necessary measures in place well in advance of them being needed.
Making or updating wills
Research shows that 54% of adults in the UK don’t have a Will. Of the 46% that do, a great many may now be out of date. Owning property is a huge responsibility and new property owners will need to consider what they would like to happen to it in the event of their death. The period after completion is an excellent time to ask these questions.
Conveyancers who want to support their clients in preparing for the future may wish to ask whether their clients have a Will and, if so, whether it will need to be updated. An experienced Will-writing solicitor will be able to work with the clients to write a new Will or update an old one to ensure plans are securely in place for all eventualities.
Considering powers of attorney
Powers of attorney are important documents for anyone who wants to ensure their loved ones would be able to make decisions on their behalf should they no longer be able to do so.
They might be a more obvious requirement for older clients, especially if the clients are buying a home they plan to retire to. However, powers of attorney can be put in place at any age and provide valuable peace of mind. They can be a very beneficial addition to any individual’s future plans, especially if they grant the power to manage both health and financial affairs.
Next steps for supporting a client
We always welcome conversations with other professionals about how we can help them to support their clients.
If you’re thinking of guiding a conveyancing client in the direction of additional legal support in order to clarify their future plans, please get in touch. We’d be very happy to discuss how we could help you help them.
How Roche Legal can help
We are reassuring experts who can help you with a wide range of legal matters. Please get in touch if you need legal support with:
- Trusts and Estate Planning
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Contested Probate and Will Disputes
- Powers of Attorney
- Court of Protection matters
- Presumption of Death Applications
- Missing Persons Guardianship Applications
Need further help?
If you would like to discuss these issues further, please contact us.