What happens to property in joint names?
Husbands and wives are usually, but not always, "joint
tenants". This means that when one of them dies the other one
automatically becomes the owner of the property. It also means that
a joint tenant cannot make a gift in a Will of his or her share
of the property.
Business partners are usually, but not always, "tenants
in common". This means that when one of them dies, the interest
in the property forms part of the Estate. It also means that a "tenant
in common" can make a gift in a Will of his or her share of
A joint tenancy can easily be converted into a tenancy in common
by one of the co-owners giving a written notice to the other saying
that the joint tenancy has been "severed" and that they
are now tenants in common. Such a notice should be placed with the
deeds. If you don't know whether you are joint tenants or tenants
in common, you should consult the solicitor employed in the purchase.