Declaration of Trust

Dealing with property ownership

A Declaration of Trust (also known as a ‘Trust Deed’) is a legally binding document stating how property is owned.

How can our Declaration of Trust solicitors help?

Our Trust Deed solicitors will guide you through the process when it comes to starting the process of a Declaration of trust. The declaration of trust should set out the contributions that each person has made to the purchase of the property, identifying who owns what, and what happens in the event of someone wishing to move out.

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In addition it may set out details of how the property expenses will be paid, responsibility for insurance, repairs, mortgage, maintenance and should provide a mechanism for the sale of the property, in the event of a breakdown in the relationship, on the death of one party.

A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document; therefore tenants in are bound by the terms of the declaration, providing clarity and certainty. Should there be a dispute further down the line; the Declaration of Trust can be presented to show evidence of what was originally agreed when the Trust Deed was being created. The only exception for alterations or dissolving of a Trust Deed is if both parties are in agreement.

Difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common

Joint tenants own equal share of the property. Should one of the owners die, the ownership of the property will go to the other party. This particular agreement also states you cannot leave instruction in your will to pass on the ownership of the property.

Tenants in common own separate shares of the property which have been individually personalised to accommodate each party, however should one person die; the property does not automatically become the other owners’. Tenants in common can choose to leave their share of the property within their will.

Do you need a Declaration of Trust?

A Declaration of Trust (or Trust Deed) can be suitable for a variety of circumstances when purchasing a property, some examples may include:

  • Couples who are not married or in a civil partnership and are purchasing a property together may wish to contribute different amounts towards the property. A Declaration of Trust can outline who contributed what and the share each person would receive when the property is sold.
  • Lone property buyers who have received financial support for the purchase of a property from parents, for example. With a Declaration of Trust, those who provided the beneficial interest can receive their share of the profits when the property sells, without having to include their names on the Title Deeds of the property.

As Declaration of Trust Solicitors, We can assist with the related registrations at the Land Registry to protect the interests of contributing parties.

A team you can trust

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At K J Smith Solicitors, our Estate Planning & Wealth Management team are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), an internationally recognised organisation whose members consist of accountants and lawyers and who are specially qualified to advise on and assist with Estate Planning & Wealth Management matters.

Our Estate Planning & Wealth Management team are also members of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), a specialist group of lawyers who are qualified to advise more elderly clients on matters of particular concern to them.

We offer a free initial 15 minute telephone appointment to give you the opportunity to speak to us, before deciding if you wish to proceed in instructing us to act on your behalf.

Please contact K J Smith Solicitors on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading Head Office), 0118 418 1200 (Reading Central), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01235 375500 (Abingdon), 01344 513000 (Ascot) or email

We also serve a wide range of other areas including Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, and High Wycombe.

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If you would like to visit our team of family solicitors, we have offices in Henley-on-Thames, Woodley, Reading (Head Office), Reading (Central), Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Abingdon and Ascot. We serve a wide range of other areas including Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.

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