Sometimes a Will can specify that a nominated person has the right to live in a property until their death. This is termed giving a “Life Estate” but is sometimes called a “life interest” or “life tenancy”. Also relevant is what’s called a “Remainder Expectant” title which is the party to be the proprietor of the land once the Life Estate owner passes away. When the proprietor of the Life Estate passes away the property then passes to the Remainder Expectant  with the Life Estate title being cancelled.

Where a Certificate of Title specifies that the proprietor holds an “estate for their life”, or similar wording, it will be a Life Estate. This means there will two titles to the property; one being the Life Estate title and the other the Remainder Expectant title. The Remainder Expectant title shows the registered proprietor being the person or persons who receive the property upon the death of the Life Estate proprietor.

If an Agent is selling a property with a Life Estate title, they must include the registered proprietor(s) of both the Life Estate and the Remainder Expectant as the Vendors; noting that they hold as the Life Estate proprietor or the Remainder Expectant proprietor. They must also include the references to both titles in the property description. When the property is sold and transferred to the Purchasers, both titles are cancelled and a new one is created in the Purchaser’s name(s). The cancellation and issuing of the new title is dealt with by Land Services SA and does not involve any additional expense to the Vendor or Purchaser.

If you need any further information in relation to the sale of a property with a Life Estate title, please contact Eckermann Assist on 82353944.