“Putting your House in Order”: Voluntary First Registrations & Wills
Posted on 3rd March 2020
“Putting Your House in Order” is a phrase used to denote arranging your affairs and solving any problems in your life to ‘get your life straight and organised’.
Given that a common goal for many people (year-on-year, we imagine) is making sure that their affairs are all finally in order; New Year, new you, and all that.
Well, there are two common legal matters that you should make sure are in order this year: Registration of your house and your Will.
Voluntary First Registration of your Property
Our solicitors in Preston are shocked to report that, In England and Wales, the Land Registry has estimated that there are still over 25% of properties unregistered (up to as much as 35%!).
At this time, until a property is sold, mortgaged, or transferred (or otherwise disposed of), registration is not compulsory. So, if you, like many of our local property solicitors’ clients in Longridge and Garstang, have owned your property for over 30-ish years and you’ve not done anything else with it, there is a chance that it will be unregistered.
If a property is unregistered, the ownership of the title to your house and land, will probably be laid out in a number of old documents, known as property deeds. Sadly, there could be issues with the deeds (i.e. they could have defects or missing documents), which would only come to light when you are selling or re-mortgaging. This would, in turn, delay your sale or re-mortgage or transfer as the issues would need to be sorted. This could also become more costly for you and, in some cases, could lose you the sale of your property.
Our team of property solicitors in Longridge would suggest that, in most cases, it would be easier for you to deal with the registration on your own terms, to give you time to deal with any issues that arise, and so that you can complete any future transactions that much quicker. The Land Registry are also encouraging voluntary registrations to take place.
What are the other benefits of registering your property?
If anything were to happen to the deeds for your property, you may find it really difficult to prove that you own it. For example, in 1998, the Bradford & Bingley Building Society had to reconstitute over 100,000 property titles after a fire at their storage warehouse. Not only will this have been costly to the Building Society, the property owners may have found the time uncertain and stressful, as they will have been asked to provide information on their ownership of the properties.
If you find yourself disputing your boundaries with your neighbours or, say, the local council, you will quickly be able to obtain a copy of the Land Registry’s registered title plan to prove the extend of the land that you own AND it will only cost you £3.00 (or nothing, if you already have a copy). Unfortunately, the old plans can be subject to change as the land changes, and may also have been sold off or given away prior to the land being registered.
Registered land can be seen as more convenient – the Land Registry describes registered land as “the ultimate ownership guarantee”. There will be no dispute over who owns a property: if your name is on the title, it’s yours.
A future sale or transfer or re-mortgage of your property will probably be a lot quicker, as your property solicitors in Longridge, Preston won’t have to worry about proving the title, and the buyer’s solicitors won’t need to check the title bit-by-bit, as a helpful, complete summary will be provided on the Land Registry title documents.
If you are re-mortgaging your property, you could find yourself paying hundreds of pounds more for the lender dealing with unregistered land.
Our team of property solicitors in Longridge would always encourage our clients to register their land through voluntary registration, wherever possible. The Land Registry are also keen to promote this service, offering reduced Land Registration fees for those who apply – this could save you as much as 50% of the fee!
We offer excellent fixed-fees for voluntary first registrations, most land being covered under our fixed fee of £295.00 plus VAT (and any disbursements, such as a £4.00 Land Registry search, and a Land Registration fee which is scaled, depending on the value of your property).
To discuss your first registration, contact our team on 01524 581 306 (Lancaster), 01772 783 314 (Longridge) or 01995 602 129 (Garstang), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A common reason that so many of our Wills solicitors in Lancaster’s clients give for not having a Will in place is that they simply don’t know where to start, and the matter seems daunting. They don’t like to arrange an appointment to discuss their Wills with our team until they have everything ‘straight’ in their heads, and they ‘cover every base’.
Unfortunately, our Wills solicitors in Lancaster find that sometimes, this actually leads to overcomplication of our client’s Wills; we actually prefer when our clients have just basic wishes when they come in, so we can discuss the different options with them, and we can then add any more complicated decisions in their Wills. That being said, when clients have complicated wishes but know what they want, our team are still able to go through these, and ensure that their wishes are effectively covered by their Will.
Our team of Wills solicitors in Lancaster have years of experience, which means that we can offer our clients insight and advice on the best way to deal with their estate in their Will, as well as explaining the benefits and disadvantages of the different options. We always like to meet our clients face-to-face, whether at their own homes or in one of our three offices, to discuss the Will, and help you work through any uncertainties they may have: you can always come back to us with any more information we might need, or once you have had time to consider the matter further.
Our fixed fee Wills are just £110.00 plus VAT for a single Will or £195.00 plus VAT for mirror Wills (Prices correct at time of posting). This includes the initial appointment, writing out to you to confirm your instructions, drafting your Wills, making any amendments or discussing the Wills with you to make sure you are happy for them, and attending upon you to sign your final Will. As part of the service, we also register our Wills with Certainty, the National Will Register, for no additional fee and we will store your Will for safe-keeping!
To discuss making your Will, contact our team via email to email@example.com or pop into your local office.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
Tagged as: Conveyancing Solicitors Lancaster, Preston Property Law, Wills and Probate, Your Local Solicitors
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