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How not to sever a joint tenancy!

By Mark McLaughlin, March 2021

Mark McLaughlin points out that failing to execute the severance of a joint tenancy properly can have unfortunate consequences. 

It is relatively common for certain assets (e.g. a property) to be jointly owned. A property can be owned either as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants-in-common’ (this article applies to property ownership in England and Wales). If a property is bought equally, it will be held as joint tenants unless the owners direct otherwise.  

Pass it on? 

If a property is owned as ‘joint tenants’, it is not possible for an owner to pass on ownership of the property on death (or during lifetime) to third parties. The property passes automatically on their death by survivorship to the remaining owner(s) (and if more than one owner, in equal shares), irrespective of the terms of the deceased’s will or the rules of

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