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OUR INSIGHTS

  • Jeremy Callander

Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common – Part 3

Jack and Jill were together for 10 years. They each had two adult children from their previous relationships. They owned the family home as joint tenants and had “mutual” Wills, whereby:

a) They each left everything to the other - i.e. the survivor;

b) The survivor then left everything to the four children equally; and

c) They each promised not to change their Wills.

When Jack died, Jill became the sole owner of the family home – along with everything else that had been Jack’s. At this point, Jack’s children weren’t worried because they knew about the mutual Wills, and had been assured by Jack (during his life) that when Jill died, they would get half of her estate.

Imagine their shock and bewilderment when Jill died a few years later and they learned that:

a) Following Jack’s death, Jill had signed a new Will (with a new lawyer)…

b) …which left everything to Jill’s children and absolutely nothing to Jack’s children.


Of course, situations like this can be avoided – or at least mitigated – by careful documentation. But this situation is what it is…….and what it was for Jack’s children, was utterly gut-wrenching.

But there is always hope. So, if this is you – or you’re worried that it might be you – then come and talk to us.

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