Legal v. Beneficial Title, The Difference

Legal v. Beneficial Title, The Difference

The legal principles of the registered owner of legal title versus the beneficial title of the property is poorly understood .

It is very simple, especially given how common it appears to be that  property truly or beneficially owned by one party , but registered at the land title office  in the legal name of the other. The land title act deems the registered owner of the property to be the legal owner, but the word ” legal ” is misleading.

The leading case of Pecore v Pecore 2007 SCC 17 stated inter alia about the difference between the two:

4. It is not disputed that the daughter took legal ownership of the belts in the accounts through the right of survivorship. Equity, however, recognizes the distinction between legal and beneficial ownership. The beneficial owner of property has been described as the real owner of property, even though it is in someone else’s name Csak v. Auman ( 1990) 69 DLR (4th) 567 ( Ont. HC) at p 570.

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