I often advise clients a change in their marital circumstances is a definite “trigger” to update their estate planning – particularly if there has been a relationship breakdown.
In Queensland, land can be owned either as “tenants in common” or “joint tenants”.
This is a very important distinction and can result in significantly different outcomes on the death of one of the property owners.
The effect of owning land as “joint tenants” is that, upon the first joint tenant to pass away, the deceased joint tenant’s interest in the property automatically passes (by right of survivorship) to the surviving joint owner.
That is, the property will not be dealt with by the Will of the first joint tenant to pass away, and will not form part of the deceased joint tenant’s estate.
The last thing you might be wanting is for “the ex” to receive your interest in the family home!
As a joint owner, you can “sever” the joint tenancy, “dividing” the title into separate parts, with your share being controlled by your Will and gifted to who you intend.
The consent of the co-owner is not required.
The method of ownership of property is a key estate planning consideration.