Northern Beaches Lawyers was recently asked to advise and assist a client who had used a non-legal Probate service to act on the Probate of her late husband’s Will. The consequences of her application were that the Probate application was defective in many respects, most importantly in that it recorded the deceased’s brother as being the joint tenant of real estate which meant that on the deceased’s death, that real estate passed to his brother absolutely. In fact, and at law, the property should have been recorded as being held as ‘tenants in common’ with his brother, which meant that half of the property would passed to the deceased’s estate and then to his wife.
Our firm commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court in order to have orders correcting the legal title to the land and have half the property re-conveyed to the estate and into the name of our client, the surviving spouse. We are pleased that after negotiations with the defendant’s solicitor and a short application before the Court we were able to obtain orders that corrected the Land Titles Office records and have the Certificate of Title recorded in the proper name as property owned half by the surviving wife, and half by the deceased’s brother.
This case illustrates that applications for Probate and dealings with land are complicated and precise transactions that require skilled legal expertise. Needless to say the perceived ‘savings’ of using a non-expert Probate service resulted in unnecessary legal costs being incurred to correct the errors made and reconvey the land back to the estate.
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