When a man transfers property to a woman who is his wife, fiancée or child (but not vice-versa), the law makes a ‘presumption of gift’ – that is, it assumes that the transfer is a gift, not (as would apply to any other transfer which does not involve payment) a transfer of the asset to be held in trust for the transferor.
The presumption came about as a result of the social values of the wealthier section of society in the Victorian era. Nowadays, though a factor, the presumption is no longer a very strong one and it is in any case being abolished under the Equality Act 2010, although the date on which the relevant section will be introduced is not yet decided.
It is always sensible to make sure that the legal basis of any transfer of assets is set out clearly at the time the transfer takes place. Contact us for advice on this and all family wealth preservation issues.