In my last post Severing a joint tenancy in divorce I explained just what this painful-sounding procedure involved and why divorced or separated partners might want to serve a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy upon each other.
I should have expected the request that followed: “What does a Notice of Severance look like” and “Can I prepare my own?”
Sample Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy
Well, here it is: Notice of Severance. It’s in Word format so you can download it or cut and paste into your own document. As advised in my last post on this subject I would urge anyone considering using this procedure to read my previous post and obtain legal advice upon the consequences of sending such a notice pursuant to divorce to their spouse or partner.
I have also been asked: “How do I send it to my wife/husband?”
Sample letter to spouse
If you have a solicitor acting for you then they would send the Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy to your co-owner. I am presuming that most of the people reading my blog only have piecemeal access or perhaps no access to quality family law advice. In that case, if you were preparing the Notice of Severance yourself and sending it directly to your spouse or partner I would suggest you do so by special delivery and use the following covering letter:
I am enclosing a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy which I have prepared in duplicate.
Please sign and date both copies of the Notice. Please then return one of the copies to me. I will then send the Notice to the District Land Registry.
Even if you do not sign the Notice, or return it to me, the effect of the notice is that our property [insert the name of the jointly owned property] will still be owned by you and me jointly but in the eyes of the law it will be as ‘Tenants in Common’. This means that if you die before me your share in the property will pass according to the terms of your Will or under the rules of intestacy if you do not have a Will. Your share in the property will no longer pass automatically to me. The same situation applies if I die before you: my share will pass to the person specified in my Will and not to you.
I would strongly recommend you to review your Will and make a fresh one if appropriate. Alternatively, if you have not made a Will, this is a good opportunity for you to do so and you should show this Notice to your lawyer.
I look forward to hearing from you with the signed Notice of Severance.
You then have to sit back and wait for the signed Notice of Severance to return. Once it does, you will need to send it, along with a specific form called Form SEV, to District Land Registry. If enough people express an interest in this topic, I will consider another post devoted to the completion of Form SEV.
Note: Form SEV is subject to Crown Copyright.