On the death of one of the joint owners, some joint assets
pass by survivorship to the remaining joint owner(s).
Assets which pass by survivorship do not pass under the terms
of a person’s will or, if they did not make a will, by the rules
We need to know which assets pass by survivorship for
• although they are included in the estate for the purpose
of Inheritance Tax they are not included for the purpose of
probate or Confirmation
• if the death was after 6 April 2012 and the estate qualifies
for the reduced rate of Inheritance Tax
The rules are different for assets in England and Wales or
Northern Ireland (English law) to those in Scotland
If all the joint owners of an asset intended that when one of
them died their share would pass to the other joint owner(s),
then this is a survivorship asset. This type of asset is always
owned equally and the deceased’s share of the asset passes to
the other joint owner(s) by survivorship.
Joint bank and building society accounts are usually held in
this way. Jointly owned houses or land can be held in this
way or as ‘tenants in common’ where each joint owner owns
a distinct share of the property and can pass their own share
by will to anyone they choose. To find out whether a jointly
owned house or land is a survivorship asset you will need to
check the conveyancing documents.
If assets are owned in the names of the joint owners ‘and the
survivor’ (this is called special or survivorship destination), or if
there is any mention of survivorship in the deeds to heritable
property, the share of the first to die will normally pass by
survivorship to the other joint owner(s).
Survivorship destinations in joint bank and building society
accounts do not by themselves pass ownership of the funds
to the survivor on the death of the first joint owner.
The ownership remains with the provider unless there has
been some further act of transfer, for example, a deed of gift.
In the absence of any other act on the death of the provider,
the whole account will pass under the terms of their will or, if
they did not make a will, by the rules of intestacy.
Joint life and survivor policies
If the deceased was entitled to benefit from a joint life
and survivor policy, the policy is more likely to pass by
survivorship than by will, but this is a complex area. You
should also fill in form IHT410, ‘Life assurance and annuities’.
You can find out more about life assurance policies at
Did any of the assets listed in box 1 or box 6 of this form pass to the other joint owner(s) by survivorship?
Enter ‘0’ in box 11 (column B) then go to box 12
List the assets that passed by survivorship in column A, and the liabilities deducted from those assets in column B
(1 or 6)
Value of the deceased’s
share before deduction of
liabilities and exemptions
Value of liabilities deducted
Total of column A Total of column B
Box 2 plus box 7 minus box 11 (column B)
Box 2 plus box 4 plus box 7 plus box 9
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