A Declaration of Trust, also known as a Deed of Trust, is a legally-binding document that records the financial arrangements between joint owners of a property and anyone else who a financial interest in the property. Please note however, a Declaration of Trust is only legally binding between unmarried couples. The Courts will consider the contents of a Declaration where the parties are married but it can deviate away from the same.
Focus on Declarations of Trust
It is usual to make this agreement at the time of buying the property. This ensures all parties have their rights protected from the outset and sets out the parties original intentions. If the property is then sold or one person wants to be bought out everyone knows exactly who is entitled to receive what.
The Declaration of Trust removes any uncertainty as to what will happen to each person’s money. It sets out the financial arrangements reducing disagreements in the future. A Declaration of Trust, or Deed of Trust, can specify how much money should be repaid, and in what circumstances this money should be repaid.
Where does a Deed of Trust become helpful?
Buying Property as Joint Owners: When you buy a property with someone else one of you might be putting more towards the deposit, or one of you might be paying more towards the mortgage repayments.
When buying a property as Tenants in Common or Joint Tenants: The Declaration allows you to set out how much money each person is putting in and how much money each person should receive when the property is sold, or in other situations.
Dealing with the Bank of Mum and Dad: It is common for people to receive financial help from parents (or other relatives) when buying a property. In most cases the people providing financial assistance will want their money back at some stage, even when the money comes from the bank of mum and dad. A Declaration of Trust will help with this.
A Declaration will also help if you have bought a property with a partner. If you were to split up the Deed could define that you both get your deposits back and the equity would be divided equally between you, or in shares specified by you.
What is included in your Declaration of Trust is down the signatories, but ultimately it’s there to help protect each person’s financial interest.