Thursday, 16 February 2012

Are there any recent cases dealing with the Severance of joint tenancies in February 2012?

I recently presented an update of my paper to the Northern Suburbs Solicitors group.

After I presented my paper on 6 October 2011, Vickery J decided Stassinopoulos v Stassinopoulos [2011] VSC 647 (on 12 December 2011), relying in part on Hargrave J's decision in Sacks v Klein [2011] VSC 451, which my paper analysed.

Vickery J confrimed that a joint tenancy can be severed even after the right of survivorship has taken effect (by the death of the joint owner of the land).

The facts in Stassinopoulos were eerily similar to Sacks v Klein; in each case 2 brothers owned the land as joint tenants, and the surviving brother had taken the estate at the expense of the deceased brother's surviving spouse.

In each case, the judge found in favour of the widow and severed the joint tenancy.

W G Stark
Hayden Starke Chambers

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