Components Of A Will - Survivorship Clauses

By Stan Taylor Written on:

Want to make a start on your will?

Making a will is simple

Making a Will is not about wealth it is about making sure that what you want to happen to your estate does happen. It gives you the opportunity to specify such things as who will administer your estate, who will care for your children and who will receive specific items of your property.

To cater for the possibility of two deaths occurring simultaneously or very close together, some people choose to insert a survivorship clause.

The period usually chosen is 28 days or a calendar month but can be up to six months.

Such a provision can prevent your money ending up where you did not intend it to go.


Jim makes a will leaving everything to his best friend Paul. They have known each other since school and have been firm friends for more years than either of them wishes to think about. Jim has never married and has no relatives to whom he feels any obligation.

Paul is married but his wife does not like Jim very much. Jim has always thought that Paul's wife is jealous of their friendship and he tends not to visit the house when she is there. One day Jim and Paul are driving to a race meeting together when an accident occurs.

Jim dies instantly but Paul makes it to hospital where he dies several hours later. Jim's will does not include a survivorship clause so his money and goods pass to Paul. Under the terms of Paul's will everything goes to his wife.

Paul's wife thus inherits everything Paul owned as well as everything Jim owned. If Jim had specified that Paul had to survive him by one month this result would have been avoided.

In this example Jim would, of course, have had to specify a recipient of his estate if Paul did not survive him by the specified period. He could, perhaps, have left his estate to a favourite charity or to another friend. See

Read -

=disadvantages Of A Survivorship Clause
or Components Of A Will - Funeral Wishes

Recommended Solicitors

Free Will Sample download

see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English laFree Will download


Perhaps you might consider taking legal advice from a solicitor about making a will if any of the following apply to your circumstances:


  1. A number of people could make a claim on your estate when you pass away because they depend on yourself financially
  2. You want to include a trust in your will (perhaps to provide for children, to save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you become deceased)
  3. Your physical and permanent home is not in the UK and / or you are not a British citizen
  4. You live here in the UK but you have additional property abroad
  5. You own all or part of a UK business.

see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English law.

"Will Making" in the Media