A message to our clients:

In light of the current climate and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 we wanted to reassure all our clients that we are committed to following the Government guidelines and advice from the World Health Organistation as we get it.

Currently we can continue to operate our business as usual across all the services that we offer our clients, both current and prospective. We will be monitoring this and will be adapting to the situation as it presents itself in the coming months.

Current advice is to limit direct contact with clients which means that we request that you do not attend our offices unless it is essential and agreed in advance by one of our directors.

We request that to help enable us to fight the spread of the virus all communication is by email, telephone or post until further notice. The health of our clients and our staff is of the highest importance to us so we hope that you can respect our request.

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We appreciate your patience, support and understanding. Stay safe and thank you for your co-operation.

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Battrick Clark Solicitors of Bristol are experienced in all matters of law and procedure related to property held in trust and property jointly owned.

Do you need to arrange for the establishment of a trust in respect of the holding of property by more than one party? Contact us for the best possible advice and assistance with drawing up a Declaration of Trust.

What is a Declaration of Trust?

A Declaration of Trust is the correct legal document in England and Wales for establishing a trust related to the holding of property. Among the stipulations to be made in a Declaration of Trust are:

  • The naming of the appointed trustees whose role is to act in the interests of the beneficiary
  • The naming of the beneficiary
  • A full declaration of the true ownership of the property. Where there is more than one owner, the proportions in which the property is owned by the different part-owners must be specified. Such detailed information may not need to be included on the property deeds, which can be held in just the name of the main beneficiary provided that a Declaration of Trust gives the full picture.
  • A declaration setting out contributions towards the mortgage / running costs
  • A declaration as to the division of the proceeds of sale

When is a Declaration of Trust needed?

A Declaration of Trust may be needed if the ownership of a property is complex in any number of ways, examples including:

  • There is more than one beneficiary of the property – for example when a couple or a pair of friends purchases a property together
  • The beneficiary is not considered mentally competent to responsibly handle the outright ownership of the property
  • The beneficiary is unable at the time of purchase to pay the full cost of the property, and is assisted in the purchase by parents, relatives or other benefactors who wish their contributions to be registered and potentially recoverable

Ideally, a Declaration of Trust should be registered at the time of purchase of the property and filed with the Land Registry. It is then called an Express Declaration of Trust.

If there is no Express Declaration of Trust, it is assumed by default in law that the joint or several beneficiaries of the property have equal ownership of it, and any beneficiary disputing this must be willing and able to prove that this was not the agreed intention at the time of purchase.

How to complete a Declaration of Trust

Battrick Clark’s expert Trust and Property Lawyers will assess your needs, and advise you on which forms to use and how best to complete them. There are several different forms that may be used for different circumstances, and the correct choice of form is too technical a matter to address here. We will help you through the entire process.

Why I should have a Will if I own property as Tenants in Common

If you own property as Tenants in Common, then your share of the property will pass as per your will or the intestacy rules. Click here to find out more about cohabiting couples.

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