I have recently married and would like to add my spouse’s name to the Property Deed of a house I currently own solely. The mortgage is paid, so I would like us to be Joint Owners. Can I do this?
You can transfer a property into joint names by way of a gift at any stage, particularly if the property is mortgage free. The transfer into joint names will be in consideration of your love and affection for your new wife and will represent a “lifetime gift”.
It is a relatively straightforward process and can be completed very quickly and at a relatively nominal cost provided your Title is already registered. If you have an unregistered Title, such a Deed of Gift will give rise to a compulsory first registration at The Land Registry with the Land Registry Fee payable based on the value of the property.
You will need to decide as to the manner in which you own the property jointly; either as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. Should you choose to own the property as Joint Tenants then the survivor of you will automatically become sole owner regardless of any Will. If you elect to own as Tenants in Common in equal shares then your respective half interests in the property will be available for each of you to bequeath by way of Will on your deaths.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on all of these aspects.