Q&As

If a husband and wife hold shares in a company jointly, what happens on the death of one of them? Will the deceased's interest be extinguished so that the shares pass automatically to the surviving spouse without becoming part of the estate?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 09/11/2016

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a husband and wife hold shares in a company jointly, what happens on the death of one of them? Will the deceased's interest be extinguished so that the shares pass automatically to the surviving spouse without becoming part of the estate?

If a husband and wife hold shares in a company jointly, what happens on the death of one of them? Will the deceased's interest be extinguished so that the shares pass automatically to the surviving spouse without becoming part of the estate?

On the death of one joint owner the legal title to the shares passes automatically to the remaining joint owner or owners rather than, as with any property held in the sole name of the deceased, into his estate. So assuming it is the husband who has died, then the widow will take the legal title in the shares by survivorship rather than under the terms of the deceased husband’s Will or on his intestacy.

Joint owners of shares do not share the same shareholders’ rights as pursuant to section 286 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) more rights are conferred on the first named joint shareholder than on the others. The first named or senior

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