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Finding Deeds help please

 
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moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 05 2:47 pm    Post subject: Finding Deeds help please  Reply with quote    

I had 'the' talk with Dad today about what was going to happen when he shuffled off his mortal coil

We 'own' a patch of woodland that was bought by my grandfather to build a cabin on for my grandmother, we've always known it belonged to the family but don't appear to have any proof, Dad doesn't want to bequeath it to anyone without having definite proof of ownership.

However, when they wanted to lay water pipes on the land for a housing development that happened next to the land they contacted Dad, when the National Trust wanted to buy the land to add to the rest of the wood they already own they contacted Dad.

So somewhere there has to be proof that Dad owns the land? We need to get this sorted quickly as Dad is in his late seventies and I don't know how much time we still have.

The best news is that if we get this proof then Dad will definitely leave the land to me as I am the only one he can trust not to sell it to a developer.

tinyclanger



Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Posts: 190
Location: in the kitchen, baking
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 05 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think you have to ask the "Land Registry" try starting with your local council they might be able to point you in the right direction. Like you say someone must have it written down somewhere.
The Citizens Advice people might be able to help as well.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 05 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Didn't read all of this, but it might give you some idea of where to start

http://www.landreg.gov.uk/

nora



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 1539
Location: West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 05 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Maybe you could ask the National Trust how they found out that the land belongs to your dad? Good luck!

henry



Joined: 15 Apr 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 05 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It depends on whether the land is registered or unregistered. I would suggest making a search of the index map on form SIM (available at http://www.landreg.gov.uk/publications/?pubtype=1 ). You'll need to attach a map showing the land you're interested in and send it to the relevant Land Registry office ( http://www.landreg.gov.uk/regional/areas/default.asp ). The search is free.

It will come back saying either that it's unregistered (in which case you'll need to see a solicitor and enquire about reconstituting the title - it will be a pain in the arse believe me) or give you the 'Title Number' which you can use to get Official Copies of the title, either in the post (form OC1) or using http://www.landregisteronline.gov.uk/ . Be sure to get the Register and the Plan. It will cost a few pounds.

Good luck.

P.S. It wouldn't hurt to get a solicitor involved if you're unsure how to do any of the above, in view of the urgency of the matter.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44100
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 05 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Welcome on board henry, and that sounds like some sound advice. Land registeronline can find titles and plans based on post code too so you could try it and I believe it's only 4.00 for plan and title to download.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 05 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Finding Deeds help please Reply with quote    

moggins wrote:
We 'own' a patch of woodland that was bought by my grandfather to build a cabin on for my grandmother, we've always known it belonged to the family but don't appear to have any proof, Dad doesn't want to bequeath it to anyone without having definite proof of ownership.

1/ His will needs to cover *all* his property, which would normally be done by a catch-all "residue" clause. If he were to mention something specific, and he were not to own it at the time of his death, then that specific gift *alone* would fail. (So no harm covering it.)
2/ Land Registration started in 1925, but even today it takes a 'trigger' to require compulsory registration. Transfer is such a trigger. It should have been transferred following your Grandfather's death, and if this was fairly recent, it should be registered.
If its registered, its straightforward. The Register is the proof of ownership, not the Deeds. (OK, it could be messy if it were still registered to your late grandfather...)
3/ If its not registered, and you can't locate the Deeds, then you would have to apply to the Land Registry to become registered with "Possessory Title" and show that you had been "occupying" (in its particular legal meaning) the land, unchallenged, for the last 10 (?) years.

Quote:
However, when they wanted to lay water pipes on the land for a housing development that happened next to the land they contacted Dad, when the National Trust wanted to buy the land to add to the rest of the wood they already own they contacted Dad.

So somewhere there has to be proof that Dad owns the land? We need to get this sorted quickly as Dad is in his late seventies and I don't know how much time we still have.


4/ This sounds as though public records, (Register, Wills, etc) show your Dad as the owner... It is also likely that your Dad has entered, as owner, into a legal agreement (an "Easement") over the water pipes. (Good for proof of "occupation".)
5/ I have no idea what the financial position of your Dad might be, or the value of this woodland, but Inheritance Tax needs to be considered. There are special provisions for woodland, including favourable treatment of lifetime gifts of woodland... If your Dad isn't 'using' the land, a lifetime transfer might be advantageous.
In general, lifetime gifts are "potentially exempt" from IHT, (just survive long enough afterwards), and there is a small exempt annual allowance that should be fully used. BUT the whole of the estate beyond 275k is taxed at 40%...
Even before "ownership" is established, it would be worth taking professional advice on this. (Even his "squatter's rights" should be transferrable.)

Hope it turns out well.

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