Do you have a paper title deed to your home?
Significant changes have been made to the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld) as part of the push towards a completely electronic conveyancing system. One of the most significant changes is that from last month, paper certificates of title (sometimes called ‘title deed’ or ‘deeds to your home’) no longer have any legal effect in Queensland. The electronic title held in the Qld Titles Registry will now be the sole point of truth for ownership and other interests in land in Queensland.
What does this mean for me?
It means that you will no longer be able to apply to the Titles Registry for a paper Certificate of Title (CT) to be issued when you purchase a property. Also, when you go to sell your property, you will not be required to deposit your existing paper CT with the Titles Registry.
Your paper CTs are now an item of historic or sentimental value only.
What do I need to do from here?
If you are simply holding a paper CT (or we are holding it on your behalf) for a property that you own, you do not need to do anything. You can keep the CT or destroy it. We will continue to hold it on your behalf at no cost along with your estate planning documents.
If you are holding a CT of someone else’s property as security, for example you have lent someone money and are holding their CT as security, then please seek legal advice to ensure that you have your interest properly secured, for example, by registering a mortgage over the property.
Commonly Asked Question:
“Who will care for my pets when I pass away?”
We’ve all heard the expression ‘A dog is a man’s best friend’ and so as not to leave out our cat lovers, did you know that Sigmund Freud is quoted as saying ‘Time spent with cats is never wasted.’
Our pets certainly provide us with companionship, enjoyment, and can even lower our stress levels (unless they’re ripping into our new lounge suite that is!). You will most likely consider your beloved pet to be an integral part of the family. You may shower your dog or cat with affection and buy them new toys to play with and tasty treats to enjoy. While you are alive they want for nothing, but do you know who will care for them when you pass away?
What happens if I pass away leaving my pet behind?
According to the law in Queensland, your pets are actually deemed to be your ‘property’. This means that you can leave your pet to a friend or family member in your Will. You should ask them ahead of time to ensure they are willing and able to carry out your wishes. You may also choose to leave them an additional sum of money in your Will to cover the ongoing costs throughout the animal’s lifetime (such as food, vet fees, etc). You will need to choose someone you trust, as there is no guarantee that they will actually use the funds to care for your pet when the time comes. So make sure you select someone who loves your pet, or who is an animal lover, and ask them ahead of time if they are willing to take on this responsibility when the time comes.
If you don’t have someone to take care of your pet, then you do have other options…
The RSPCA (Qld) also offers a pet legacy program. The program ensures your animals will be re-homed to an appropriate family when you die, and the RSPCA can even look after your pet in emergency situations such as if you are admitted to hospital. To enroll in the scheme, you must complete the Application forms (which can be obtained directly from the RSPCA) and must also leave a bequest to the RSPCA (Qld) in your Will.
The Animal Welfare League of Queensland also offers a similar service called the ‘Legacy Pets’ program. Application forms can be obtained directly from the Animal Welfare League of Queensland website. Unlike the RSCPA, they do not require any bequest to be left to them under your Will, but of course you can still choose to do so.