Transfer of shares upon death

Question: “I jointly own shares with my deceased husband. In his Will, my late husband specified that upon death his shares should go to me. How do I get the shares transferred to me?”

Jointly owned shares
In the event of the death of a joint tenant, ownership will pass to the surviving owner without the asset forming part of the deceased’s estate.

Assets like bank accounts and shares owned with another person (not just spouses) are usually deemed to be owned as “joint tenants”, and not “tenants in common”.

Therefore, if you owned the shares with your late husband as joint tenants, the gift in your late husband’s Will will fail.

Nevertheless, you will be entitled to the shares because immediately upon your late husband’s death, you as the “survivor” gained an equitable interest in the shares. Now, to have the  “legal” ownership of the shares transferred to you, it is just a formality.

Shares owned as tenants in common
However, if you owned the shares with your late husband as tenants in common, to transfer the title in the shares to you, the share registry will require:

• a certified copy of the official death certificate, and
• a copy of the Will;


• a copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.