Joint Tenancy Severed By Unregistered Transfer

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:

April 10,2014

November 19,2013

November 13, 2013

April 12, 2013

July 14, 2012

April 1, 2012

May 31,2011

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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