Is a deed of trust legally binding?

This deed, also known as a declaration of trust, is a legally binding document drawn up to protect the financial interests and investments in jointly owned properties. It is important to ensure that it has been correctly and legally drawn up, reflecting the investments and intentions of all parties, to avoid any future confusion or dispute in the event of a property sale or a relationship breakdown.

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How do I obtain one?

All parties need to agree to this document being drawn up to protect everyone’s investments. Because it is a legally binding document with huge implications for all parties, it is important to have one drawn up by experts such as solicitors or experienced conveyancers with deed of trust expertise. You can shop around for the most competitive price, but it is important to make sure you have it drawn up by an experienced firm. Solicitors or conveyancing firms usually retain your document on file for about six years, but it is advised that you keep your copy in a safe place.

What if it is not honoured?

This deed might not be honoured, such as in a dispute after a sale, following a relationship breakdown, or when one party contests the legality of the document. In this case, it is recommended that you go to an alternative solicitor or conveyancing firm than the one who originally drew up the document as it would be a conflict of interest. Your new representative will write to the other party or parties to explain the legally binding nature of the document. They can also outline to the other parties how much they should expect to receive in the event of a property being sold and the proceeds divided.

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Benefits

The benefits of arranging such a document are self-explanatory. As time passes, the amounts of investments and payments made in the lifetime of a property can be lost, misunderstood or forgotten. Using such a deed will, along with original mortgage documents, protect the interests of everyone, particularly when contributing a financial investment into a property that might have increased in value over the years.

Obtaining such legally binding protection at the outset of purchasing a property will reassure all parties involved that their money is protected and remove any concerns about the future of their investments.