Joint owners and beneficial interests

I am dealing with unregistered title to a property. Mother and Father owned property in joint names subject to a joint tenancy. Root of title is conveyance to them from 1960. Father died first so Mum became sole legal owner. Mum made a will leaving real and personal estate to 2 daughters, so to “X and Y and if more than one in equal shares”. Probate was issued to the 2 daughters.

There were no changes made to the title to the property following Mum’s death. X then passed away. Can we assume (subject to no further evidence being present) that X and Y held their beneficial interests in the property as joint tenants?

If this is the case as the survivor, Y can attend to first registration and in effect assent the property to herself?

Evelyn Barker
Joanne Ball Solicitor

The gift to the daughters includes words of severance: “if more than on in equal shares”. Accordingly, the beneficial interest is held as a tenancy in common – 50% each.

So far as the legal title is concerned, Y is the sole surviving executor and will need to convey the legal title to those now entitled – herself and the beneficiaries of her sister’s estate – or their nominees.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals