Legal Tip 267: Gifts under a will to 2 or more persons jointly

Discussion in 'Wills & Estate Planning' started by Terry_w, 24th Jan, 2020.

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  1. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Member

    18th Jun, 2015
    Australia wide
    When a person leaves a gift to 2 of more people under a will, unless specified otherwise the gift is to then as joint tenants – generally.

    To avoid doubt it is best to specify if you want to leave a gift as joint tenants or tenants in common. This will avoid costly legal disputes.

    But carefully consider the appropriateness and further estate planning consequences of this.


    Homer dies and leaves his house to his 3 children.

    If they inherit this as joint tenants if one of them dies the 2 surviving children will now own the property and any children of the deceased (Homers grandchildren) will miss out.

    If they inherit as tenants in common in equal shares each of Homer’s children could decide who gets their share on death. They might leave their share to their children or to the trustee of a Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT) for example.

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