The Supreme Court of Canada in 1962 held that an un-registered transfer of land was sufficient to sever the joint tenancy and create an interest of one in tenancy in common and extinguish any right of the other joint tenant to claim title by survivorship. This case arose from British Columbia
Stonehouse v. British Columbia Attorney General 1962 SCR 103, is the leading case in Canada relating to the severance of the joint tenancy by the course of conduct of the co-joint tenant .
The only unusual facts of the Stonehouse case was that the transfer of land was never registered during the lifetime of the co joint tenant ,but the court held that the registrar of land titles is under no obligation, on the presentation of the transfer for registration, to inquire whether the joint tenant to executed the transfer is dead or alive.
The legal significance of whether or not a joint tenancy has been severed can be of major significance in estate litigation .
If it is a true joint tenancy, then it would upon the death of one of the joint tenants automatically passed to the survivor by right of survivorship .
There are many ways however that the joint tenancy may be deliberately or even inadvertently severed by the course of conduct of one of the parties ;
For further information and other articles on the issue of severance of the joint tenancy please visit blogs dated:
November 13, 2013
April 12, 2013
July 14, 2012
April 1, 2012