Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Tabitha T
    • By Tabitha T 13th Feb 18, 12:33 AM
    • 236Posts
    • 38Thanks
    Tabitha T
    Mutual Will Query
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:33 AM
    Mutual Will Query 13th Feb 18 at 12:33 AM
    Evening, does anyone have any knowledge/experience of mutual wills and property inheritance?

    My partner's aunt thought she would 100% inherit a (jointly owned) flat when her husband died, but her solicitor says their joint tenancy will revert to 'tenants in common' as they had mutual wills, (which will now give an immediate 50% share of the property to their daughter). As the aunt wants to sell up - but the daughter doesn't want to - there is clearly a potential problem.

    However, my partner has heard (from an alternative legal source) to the contrary, i.e. that as a joint tenant, you can't pass on ownership of a property in your will, and therefore, the property should now be owned 100% by his aunt.

    Any advice appreciated.
    Thanks, Tabs
Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 13th Feb 18, 12:46 AM
    • 4,519 Posts
    • 4,946 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:46 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:46 AM
    Mutual wills are horrible things, but they do not usually work this way so I think she should get a second opinion especially if this solicitor was the one who suggested mutual wills was the way to go in the first place.
    Last edited by Keep pedalling; 13-02-2018 at 12:53 AM.
    • Tabitha T
    • By Tabitha T 13th Feb 18, 12:58 AM
    • 236 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Tabitha T
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:58 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:58 AM
    Thanks for responding. When you say they don't usually work this way, do you mean about reverting to tenants in common? The solicitor who is saying this is from the company who originally drew up the wills, but they said at the time they could cause complications...

    As my partner didn't believe them he talked to a second solicitor, and it is they who are saying that the joint tenancy should stand, and his aunt can sell the house as she is sole owner.

    It's so confusing, nobody knows where they are, or quite where to go next. We thought CAB might still provide access to a freebie solicitor but no luck getting through to them so far.

    It seems crazy if we need to try a third solicitor to get the real story, but who can know for sure if they will be right either!
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 13th Feb 18, 1:27 AM
    • 1,239 Posts
    • 794 Thanks
    Tom99
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:27 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:27 AM
    What provision for the daughter did the will make?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 13th Feb 18, 1:59 AM
    • 3,686 Posts
    • 3,007 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:59 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:59 AM
    Evening, does anyone have any knowledge/experience of mutual wills and property inheritance?

    My partner's aunt thought she would 100% inherit a (jointly owned) flat when her husband died, but her solicitor says their joint tenancy will revert to 'tenants in common' as they had mutual wills, (which will now give an immediate 50% share of the property to their daughter). As the aunt wants to sell up - but the daughter doesn't want to - there is clearly a potential problem.

    However, my partner has heard (from an alternative legal source) to the contrary, i.e. that as a joint tenant, you can't pass on ownership of a property in your will, and therefore, the property should now be owned 100% by his aunt.

    Any advice appreciated.
    Thanks, Tabs
    Originally posted by Tabitha T
    Was the will prepared by a will writing company? Are you sure they were joint wills rather than mirror wills? Joint wills are very unusual these days. In any case without seeing the wills and knowing exactly what they say a definitive answer cannot be given.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 13-02-2018 at 8:54 AM.
    • Tabitha T
    • By Tabitha T 13th Feb 18, 8:42 AM
    • 236 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Tabitha T
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 8:42 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 8:42 AM
    Yes, they are definitely ‘mutual’ wills (as opposed to mirror, joint, or identical). They were formally prepared by a firm of solicitors (who warned that they may present problems in due course). They’re certainly doing that...
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 13th Feb 18, 9:18 AM
    • 3,686 Posts
    • 3,007 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:18 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:18 AM
    Yes, they are definitely !!!8216;mutual!!!8217; wills (as opposed to mirror, joint, or identical). They were formally prepared by a firm of solicitors (who warned that they may present problems in due course). They!!!8217;re certainly doing that...
    Originally posted by Tabitha T
    From what you have said it seems your aunt needs legal advice rather than you. She needs to establish if she is the joint owner, as I suspect she is, in which case she can sell as she wishes. Did your partner get formal legal advice from a solictor?
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 13-02-2018 at 9:21 AM.
    • noh
    • By noh 13th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    • 5,154 Posts
    • 3,482 Thanks
    noh
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    Your Aunt needs to take professional advice.
    It seems, from a quick google on the subject, if a share in a property held as joint tenants is disposed of in a mutual will then that severs the joint tenancy.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Feb 18, 11:02 AM
    • 31,359 Posts
    • 18,789 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 11:02 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 11:02 AM
    This is something the executors(s) should be dealing with whatever legal advice they need.

    They key here is that joint tenancy can be severed by mutual intent.

    By BOTH creating mutual wills that treated the property as if they owned it tenants in common may show sufficient intent that they severed the joint tenancy.


    As with all property this will be further complicated by the usual legal and beneficial ownership issues.

    Legal owners hold property as a trust for the beneficial owners often themselves but not always.
    • Tabitha T
    • By Tabitha T 13th Feb 18, 11:51 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Tabitha T
    Thank you all very much for your responses, much appreciated. It seems there is a lot more to discover about the situation, but there appears to be case law precedent for a severance under the mutual will circumstances. There is no executor so it makes things very difficult. My partner is trying to help his aunt who has dementia issues so it is all rather challenging. A meeting with an alternative solicitor has now been scheduled. Thanks, Tabs
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Feb 18, 12:42 PM
    • 31,359 Posts
    • 18,789 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Very interested in what the solicitors say on this one.

    What does the will say?

    eg. An absolute gift to the daughter might have a different outcome to one that gifts after a life interest.

    do the drafting solicitors have notes that say what the intent was

    There is an interesting twist in that the sole legal owner will now be the Aunt and any claim by the daughter will be only a beneficial interest as such the Aunt could, but may not be advisable, sell without the daughters agreement and worst case she hands over 1/2 the money.

    It is also sounding like if not already done an LPA should be put in place before the Aunt loses capacity.


    unusual to have a will with no executors
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,254Posts Today

7,921Users online

Martin's Twitter