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Guest k1tty

Australian property lawyers - recommendations?

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Guest k1tty

I am British, living in the UK with my Australian husband and my spouse visa application is underway as we plan to move to Melbourne next year. My husband has bought a house there - I couldn't easily get on the NAB mortgage or the title deeds but I will do so once I have the visa and I'm over there.

 

In the mean time we are renting the flat where we live in the UK and on top of that we are paying the Australian mortgage by renting out the Melbourne house and contributing the rest half each. I also made a substantial contribution to the deposit we paid on the Melbourne house. I want to protect my interests in case anything happens to my husband (God forbid) and I've consulted my friend who is an English property lawyer and she has advised that we should get a declaration of trust legally drawn up. At least that's what it's called in the UK. She says that if the property was in Britain we would have to involve the bank and register it at the land registry.

 

Now I need to figure out how to do this. Does anyone know of any law firms in the UK (probably London) with the expertise to do this, or any law firms in Melbourne who would deal with overseas clients?

 

Any leads or suitable contacts gratefully accepted!

 

Cheers

Kate

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Guest Nando65
I am British, living in the UK with my Australian husband and my spouse visa application is underway as we plan to move to Melbourne next year. My husband has bought a house there - I couldn't easily get on the NAB mortgage or the title deeds but I will do so once I have the visa and I'm over there.

 

In the mean time we are renting the flat where we live in the UK and on top of that we are paying the Australian mortgage by renting out the Melbourne house and contributing the rest half each. I also made a substantial contribution to the deposit we paid on the Melbourne house. I want to protect my interests in case anything happens to my husband (God forbid) and I've consulted my friend who is an English property lawyer and she has advised that we should get a declaration of trust legally drawn up. At least that's what it's called in the UK. She says that if the property was in Britain we would have to involve the bank and register it at the land registry.

 

Now I need to figure out how to do this. Does anyone know of any law firms in the UK (probably London) with the expertise to do this, or any law firms in Melbourne who would deal with overseas clients?

 

Any leads or suitable contacts gratefully accepted!

 

Cheers

Kate

 

Kate hi

 

Would a will for you both be the easiest way??? That would also support your visa application. Sorry we can't offer you a law firm however if you contact Les Mighalls, our migration agent, based in Melbourne, studied law, he could, we are sure, recommend someone, if you look on the members list here, he is registered.

 

Best of luck to you and your husband.

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Guest k1tty

Thanks for the will idea. I thought of that too and I contacted a local provincial law firm here in Oxford who said they didn't have the expertise to deal with a will that covered property in Australia. So I contacted another firm called 1stcontactlaw (who have offices in Melbourne and London) about getting wills done and they said they can prepare wills for any nationalities who are residents in the UK. However, they also said if you have properties abroad, they usually advise clients to also have a will prepared in that jurisdiction specifically for the property, as rules on devolution of property will always differ from country to country.

 

Then my English property lawyer friend checked with a colleague specialising in probate law who said that it should be ok for my husband to draw up a will in the UK covering the property in Australia because the law is pretty similar, whereas apparently you have to have a will in UK and in France if the property is in France, for example. But she thought a declaration of trust would be a good idea as well.

 

So I need to find a property and/or probate lawyer who really knows their stuff on this! I think my next step is to ask the solicitor who my husband employed for buying the house if he can draw something up for us.

 

But I'd be interested to hear from anyone else in a similar position and find out what they have done.

 

Cheers

Kate

 

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What ownership did you put on the transfer of land? Was it tenants in common i e joint tenants , if so if you died or your husband died then the property transfer automatically to the surviving party. If you bought as tenants in common in equal shares then each party can will their part of the property to who they like.

 

If the property is only in one name then you can have a new transfer drawn up with a stat dec to support the transfer putting the transfer into joint names or tenants in common whichever is desired. No stamp duty will be payable.

 

People should also always have a will.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest k1tty

I have found out what to do. The lawyer who did the conveyancing on the house can do a Declaration of Trust whereby my husband acknowledges that he holds the property for himself and me equally or whatever proportion we decide upon. The Transfer of title into joint names can be done later. Transfer between spouses is one of the few transfers of title permitted without having to pay stamp duty which in Victoria is very high.

 

Thanks for advice people. Hope this is useful for anyone in a similar position.

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