Survivorship Clause

Subject: Survivorship clause

  1. A married couple with no children propose to leave the entirety of their estates to each other with a 28 day survivorship clause (replicating provision in their existing wills made before IHT changes regarding transferable nil rate band).

  2. They are having mirror wills that provide for the residue following the 2nd death to pass to many beneficiaries including minors.

  3. The combined estates including property jointly owned (the main assets may be jointly owned and pass by survivorship) will exceed each nil rate band for IHT but it is not known (and could not be easily ascertained) whether one estate will exceed the nil rate band and the other will not.

  4. A survivorship clause would assist administratively if both die at or close to the same time. However, adverse IHT consequences ought to be avoided. If the scenario of both dying in a way that the survivorship clause had effect and so there would be one estate which did not exceed the unused nil rate band The situation may not be possible or practical to remedy by a deed of variation.

  5. Suggested solutions including as to drafting would be appreciated. For example could the survivorship clause be tempered by allowing for there to be a limited gift up to the extent of any unused nil rate band should the estate be less than that amount?

Robin Makin
E. Rex Makin & Co