Where the deceased owned a house or land or an interest in a house or land (such as a mortgage or lease), in her or his name only, it is necessary to obtain a grant of probate or letters of administration. This also applies where the deceased owned an interest in land as a tenant in common.
No grant of probate is required to deal with a house or land owned as a joint tenant. A surviving joint tenant automatically gets the whole property when one joint tenant dies. The deceased person's interest does not form part of the deceased estate.
Despite this automatic operation, the death must be noted on the certificate of title to the property before any further dealing with the property can take place. The surviving joint tenant must lodge an Application to Register Death with the Land Services Group Office, on the form prescribed by the Register-General.
It is strongly advised that a conveyancer or lawyer prepare and lodge the application, because the identity of the surviving joint tenant must be verified as part of the application. There is a fee payable for lodgement of the form.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.