Joint Tenants or Tenants in common

Where more than one beneficiary inherits property under a will, is there a presumption that they inherit as tenants in common

Thank you

It depends on whether the wording in the Will contains words of severance.

Cliona O’Tuama


Under English Law, the default position is a joint tenancy.

As Cliona identifies, there must be words of severance for the will to create a tenancy in common.

If the will creates a joint tenancy, it is open to the beneficiaries to sever the joint tenancy themselves, on notice to the executor. For example, a gift of £100 to A and B will be severed by A giving the executor instructions to pay their nominal share to their own bank account.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals

Thank you Cliona and Paul