Arguments over jointly owned property

The argument in Court turned on Section 188 of the Law of Property Act 1925:-

 “Where any chattels belong to persons in undivided shares, the persons interested in a moiety or upwards may apply to the Court for an order for division of the chattels or any of them, according to a valuation or otherwise, and the Court may make such order and give any consequential directions as it thinks fit.”

Obviously nice archaic language meant plenty for the lawyers to argue about.  In the end the Court decided that even though their father, had he been alive, would no doubt have wanted to see the collection kept intact, the law favoured the brother and sister who wanted to split the collection up so that they could get what they regarded as their fair shares. 

I suppose the lesson for anyone making a will or other arrangements involving jointly owned property is to be absolutely explicit and clear in his or her directions, whether in the will or other document.

Also worth pointing out that the collection is worth millions.  Most of these family disputes don’t arrive at court, but the acrimony might be the same, even if only golf clubs or cigarette cards are involved.

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