The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
In this Q&A, A and B, a married couple, have a bank account in joint names. A has now died. Within the seven years prior to A’s death, a gift was made out of the joint account to Y. B has stated that she made the gift.
The issue is how are gifts from joint accounts treated for the purposes of the general law and for the purposes of tax law.
For the purposes of the general law, if a bank account is held in joint names, the inference is that it is intended that there would be beneficial co-ownership unless there is evidence to the contrary: Re Figgis. The co-owners would usually be joint tenants so, eg if one dies the other becomes entitled to the entire fund by reason of the doctrine of survivorship. If the account is overdrawn, both would be jointly and severally liable for the overdrawn balance: see Fielding v Royal Bank of Scotland plc.
If a gift is made f
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