Recording the death of a joint tenant

The information in this guide applies only to property that is held as a joint tenancy. It does not apply to property held as tenants in common.

If your case involves a different type of ownership, use our online tool to help you decide which form to use.

Under a joint tenancy, if one joint tenant dies, the interest in the property held by the deceased immediately passes to the surviving joint tenant/s on the basis of survivorship (not on the basis of the provisions in the will of the deceased).

To change the title after the death of a joint tenant, the surviving joint tenant/s must record the death with Titles Queensland. This guide explains what you must do to record the death of a joint tenant on the title.

For additional information about Titles Queensland forms, see the land title practice manual.

Note: Titles Queensland forms are legally binding and must be completed carefully. Titles Queensland can provide general information about forms and requirements. If you require personal advice — that is, advice taking your circumstances into consideration, or the options available to you — then it is recommended that you speak to a lawyer.

Before starting your application, make sure you have all the required information and supporting documents.

Title details

The current details of the property (including the property description, title reference and ownership information) are required to complete the form. This information is available from a current title search, which you can purchase online.

Evidence of the death

You must supply a copy of the official certificate of death (either a short or long extract) from the relevant registry of births, deaths and marriages. If the death certificate is from a foreign country and is not in English, you must supply a full translation contact us for more information on translation requirements or see part 60-1020 of the land title practice manual).

A copy of the document is acceptable, provided it is a good quality photocopy of the original that has been either:

  • properly certified as a true copy of the original by a justice of the peace, commissioner for declarations or an Australian lawyer, or
  • submitted in person at the time of lodgement, along with the original, at one of Titles Queensland’s regional business centres that accepts titles registry lodgements. A staff member will compare the copy with the original, then return the original to you immediately.

Alternatively, where the evidence has been previously produced to Titles Queensland, the dealing number of the registered instrument under which the evidence has been deposited should be stated in the relevant item of the Titles Queensland form.

Certification requirements for supporting evidence

If submitting a certified copy, the certification must be signed by a justice of the peace, commissioner for declarations or Australian lawyer, and identify the full name and qualification/registration number of the certifying officer.

If the original document has more than one page, the certifying officer must either:

  • certify each page; or
  • sign or initial each page, number the pages as 1 of 40, 2 of 40 and so on (if the pages are not already numbered) and certify on the last page the following — this [number of pages]-page document (each page of which I have numbered and signed) is a true copy of the original [number of pages]-page document that I have sighted.

Privacy statement

The information collected from Titles Queensland’s forms is used to maintain publicly searchable records of Queensland Government agencies, local governments and water distribution entities.

Read the Titles Queensland privacy statement for more information.

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Please complete forms carefully and include all required information. If you make a mistake, follow the correction instructions at the bottom of this page. Failure to do this may result in delays in processing your dealing and additional fees.

You can complete forms by hand or digitally on computer. Use dense black or blue ink, and make sure that all signatures and dates are in original ink. Any text entered on the computer should be in Arial 10 point or larger.

Print the form on A4 white paper, making sure the whole of the form appears on one side of one sheet only. Do not fold forms. You can change the size of the panels, but do not make other changes (e.g. delete panels or change the standard wording) without the approval of the Registrar of Titles.

Some browsers don’t support the full functionality of our PDF forms. For help, please refer to our Guide to downloading Titles Queensland forms (PDF, 184KB), or download the Word (DOT) version of the form instead.

You will need the following forms:

If your case is not a joint tenancy, use our new online tool to help you decide which form to use.

How to complete Form 4 — Request to record death

Click on the blue text in the form for help, or see an example of a completed Form 4 – Request to record death (PDF, 516KB).

Lodger details

Insert name, postal address, email address and phone number for correspondence purposes.

A lodger ‘Code’ is only required if you lodge regularly and have been provided with one by Titles Queensland. Otherwise leave blank.

Item 1

Insert the name of the deceased joint tenant as recorded on the title.

Item 2

Freehold land
The description of the relevant lot/s should read ‘Lot [no.] on [plan reference]’. Plan references must contain the appropriate prefix, such as SP, RP, BUP, GTP (e.g. Lot 27 on RP 204939). Insert the title reference as it appears on the title search.

Water allocation
For the lot on plan description use ‘Water Allocation’, ‘Allocation’ or ‘WA’ followed by the prefix AP and the plan number (e.g. WA 27 on AP 7900 46012345). Insert the title reference as it appears on the title search.

State tenure
The lot on plan description of the relevant state tenure should always read ‘Lot [no.] on [plan reference]’. Plan references must contain the appropriate prefix, such as CP (e.g. Lot 27 on CPLIV1234). Insert the title reference as it appears on the title search.

Item 3

Select the interest of the deceased tenant from the drop-down menu and complete the statement if required (e.g. ‘fee simple’ for a freehold title, ‘lease no. [number]’ for a state tenure or ‘water allocation’ for a water allocation).

Item 4

Insert the name of the surviving tenant/s making the application and the postal address for service of notices (e.g. rates notices).

Item 5

Insert the documentation being deposited (e.g. copy of the certificate of death).

Item 6

Select ‘The applicant is the surviving joint tenant of the land’.

Item 7

Insert the page numbering at the top of the form, then print.

Sign and date the form in the presence of a qualified witness.

Need more space on the form?

If there isn’t enough space in any item on the form (e.g. if more signatures are required or if several properties are being described), insert ‘see enlarged panel’ in the relevant item.

Then complete Form 20 – Enlarged panel (PDF, 1.1MB). In this form, enter the title reference at the top of the form and insert the heading of the item (e.g. ‘Item 2. Lot on Plan Description’) followed by the information. To finish, enter the page numbers on the top right of all pages.

Lodger details

The lodger details must contain the minimum information necessary for positive identification and contact by mail, email (if applicable) and phone.

Your lodger code should always be shown. Private persons lodging one-off individual transactions do not need to show a lodger code.

Correcting a form

You can make a minor change to a form by ruling through the item to be deleted, inserting the correct information and initialling the change. Do not use erasers, correction fluid or similar products.

The definition of a minor correction:

  • a digit or transposition of two digits in a title reference, plan number or ABN
  • the spelling of part of a name of a person or company.

If you need to make more substantial changes, refer to part 59-2040 of the land title practice manual or, provided the document has not already been lodged, complete a new form (remember to have the new form signed by all parties if the form it is replacing has already been signed). Alternatively, you may wish to speak to a lawyer or contact our enquiry service.

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Most Titles Queensland forms must be signed and dated in the presence of a qualified witness.

Witnesses must clearly print their full name near their signature as well as their qualification as a witness.

Use dense black or blue ink when signing the form to ensure that a quality electronic image of the signature is produced.

Additional requirements apply to some types of witnesses and to forms witnessed overseas. Please refer to Part 61 of the land title practice manual or speak to a lawyer for more information.

Who can witness?

Note: A witness must not be a party to the instrument.

Australia
  • If the form is being executed in Australia, the witness must be either:
  • a justice of the peace
  • a commissioner for declarations
  • an Australian lawyer
  • a notary public
  • a licensed conveyancer from another state
  • another person approved by the Registrar of Titles.
Overseas

If the form is being witnessed outside Australia, the witness should be:

  • an Australian consular officer or authorised employee of the Australian Government, or
  • a notary public, or
  • an Australian lawyer.

In special circumstances, it may be possible for another person to be approved to act as a witness. However, you must apply and obtain approval from the Registrar of Titles before the instrument is lodged. Please refer to Part 61-2400 of the land title practice manual or speak to a lawyer for more information.

A competent officer under the Defence Regulation 2016 (Cwlth) may witness the execution of a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) serving outside Australia (or a person who is accompanying the ADF outside Australia).

Overseas witnessing requirements

Additional requirements apply to overseas witnessing.

Before proceeding, please refer to Parts 61-2200 to 61-2220 of the land title practice manual or speak to a lawyer for more information.

Witnessing by Australian consular officers or Commonwealth employees

If your witness is an Australian consular officer or authorised employee of the Commonwealth, the witness will need to complete the Annex 12.2 – Australian Embassy/High Commission/Consulate identity/witnessing certification form (PDF, 23KB). You must attach the completed form when lodging your documents.

Witnessing by other authorised witnesses

Any other authorised witness (e.g. Australian lawyer or notary public) must complete a Form 20 – Identity/witnessing certification which is available from the Titles Queensland forms page. This must be lodged along with your documents.

Proof of identity

Witnessing officers are legally required to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the person signing the form and must keep a record of the steps taken or evidence of doing this.

Witnessing officers can ensure that they take reasonable steps by verifying your identity using the Verification of Identity Standard outlined in Part 61-2700 of the land title practice manual.

If you fail to provide the witnessing officer with adequate proof of your identity, they may decline to witness your signature. You may wish speak to a lawyer about the proof of identity you intend to provide before arranging an appointment with a witnessing officer.

Documents must be current and could include combinations such as the following:

  • Australian passport + Australian driver’s licence + change of name or marriage certificate, if necessary
  • proof of age card + full birth certificate + Medicare card + change of name or marriage certificate, if necessary
  • Australian evidence of immigration status ImmiCard or Australian migration status ImmiCard + full birth certificate + another form of government issued identity document + change of name or marriage certificate, if necessary.

Please refer to Parts 61-2300 and 61-2310 of the land title practice manual for further information on the obligations of witnesses to verify your identity.

Proof of entitlement to sign

In addition to verifying the identity of the person signing the form, witnessing officers are also legally required to take reasonable steps to ensure the person signing the form is entitled to do so.

They must keep a record of the steps taken or evidence of doing this.

If you fail to provide adequate evidence of your entitlement to sign the form, they may decline to witness your signature.

Adequate evidence could consist of current documents such as:

  • rates notice for the property issued by your local council
  • current title search for the property
  • registration confirmation statement for the property.

Please refer to Parts 61-2300 and 61-2320 of the land title practice manual for further information on the obligations of witnesses to verify your entitlement to sign.

Signing under a power of attorney

An attorney for a person or for a corporation can sign a Titles Queensland form under the authority of a power of attorney. Attorneys can sign and date the form without having their signature witnessed. A signing clause must be inserted adjacent to the signature of the attorney stating — ‘[Name of principal] by their duly constituted attorney [Name of attorney and/or designation attorney] under Power of Attorney [dealing number of registered power of attorney]’.

The power of attorney is not required to be registered with Titles Queensland at the time of signing the form, but must be registered prior to registration of the form with Titles Queensland.

For further information on signing under a power of attorney, please refer to Part 61-3050 of the land title practice manual.

Company signatures

Corporations can execute documents with or without affixing a company seal. If the seal is not affixed, then the full name of the company and its Australian company number must be shown adjacent to the execution. An execution by a company in this manner does not need to be witnessed. The designations of the signatories must also be shown. See Part 50-2000 of the land title practice manual for more information.

Statutory declarations

If a statutory declaration is required, the requirements that apply to the form and witnessing of the declaration are those of the jurisdiction where the declaration is made.

The Registrar of Titles will accept a statutory declaration made by person under the Oaths Act 1867 (Qld) even if the declaration is made outside Queensland, provided the person taking the declaration is authorised under that Act and the form used is as provided for by that Act.

See Part 60-0260 of the land title practice manual for more information about statutory declaration requirements or speak with a lawyer.

Find a qualified witnessing officer

The Queensland Government has a service to help you find a justice of the peace or commissioner for declarations.

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You can lodge your forms and documents by post or in person. Read about payments and lodgement for details. For industry professionals, electronic conveyancing and eLodgement are easy, fast and secure lodgement alternatives.

Checklist of what to include

Make sure your request includes all the required information and documents:

  • Form 4 — Request to record death (completed, signed, dated and witnessed)
  • evidence of the death (original or certified copy)
  • payment by cheque (if applicable).

Fees and payment

To calculate fees, use the fee calculator.

If lodging in person, you can pay by cash, cheque, money order, EFTPOS or credit card (Mastercard and Visa).

If lodging by post, include a cheque or money order made out to ‘Queensland Titles Registry Pty Ltd’. Do not send cash through the mail.

Titles Queensland will send you a lodgement summary once your payment has been received. It will show the dealing numbers and type, description, lodgement date and time, first title reference, assessed fee and receipted fee plus lodger details.

Correct order of lodgement

The correct order of lodgement will vary depending on the circumstances. The lodger is responsible for ensuring Titles Queensland forms are lodged in the correct order of priority. Dealings will be requisitioned to rectify the order of lodgement where necessary.

What happens next

We will check your form to make sure it meets all requirements. If there is a deficiency with your lodgement, we will send you a requisition notice (see the next section in this guide for details).

If your form meets our requirements, we will register your dealing and send you a registration confirmation statement. If you have provided us with an email address in the ‘lodger details’ section of the form, we will send this by email; otherwise we will send it to you by normal post.

How long does registration take?

Most correctly prepared dealings are registered within our service time of 3–5 working days.

You can use the dealing number on your lodgement summary to check the status of your lodgement using our online dealing status search enquiry.

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If there is a deficiency with your lodgement, we will send you a requisition notice explaining the matters that require attention and return the original documents to you. You will usually have to pay an additional administration fee.

The requisition notice will include a rejection date (see below for more information). You must comply with the requisition and pay any applicable fees by this date or your lodgement will be rejected.

When a dealing has been requisitioned, the proposed rejection date is in most cases automatically set at two months from the date of issue of the requisition.

Note: Responding to your requisition well before the due date for completion will help ensure your lodgement isn’t rejected.

Requisitions sent by email

If you are a private lodger and receive a requisition notice by email, we will send your documents back to you separately by registered post. Please wait until you have received your documents before coming back into the office of lodgement or taking further action.

Responding to the requisition

Once you have received your documents:

  • attend to any matters listed in the notice (seek legal advice if appropriate)
  • amend the existing document as required in the notice
    • do not prepare a fresh document (unless specifically requested to do so in the notice) as this may cause new lodgement fees to apply
    • do not erase or use correction fluid or similar products
    • rule through errors with a single line and enter the correct information
    • ensure all amendments are initialled by all parties named in the form (except witnessing officers)
  • return all pages that were sent to you to the office of lodgement prior to the rejection due date specified in the notice
  • pay any requisition or other fees listed in the notice.

If you have questions about your requisition, use our online enquiry form.

Rejection due date and extensions

It is important that you comply with the terms of a requisition notice and return the documentation by the rejection due date, or your dealing may be rejected. If your dealing is rejected, we will send you a notice and return documents still held by us. Your dealing will lose lodgement priority and you will forfeit any lodgement fees that you have paid.

If necessary, the lodger of the dealing may request an extension of time by explaining the relevant circumstances in writing to the Registrar of Titles. Send your request to the address listed on the notice or use our online enquiry form. Each request will be assessed on its merits and you will be advised in writing of the outcome of the request.

What happens next

Once we receive your amended documentation, we will re-examine the dealing. If it satisfies all requirements, we will register your dealing and send you a registration confirmation statement.

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In some cases, dealings may need to be fully withdrawn (e.g. if a transfer does not proceed), or withdrawn and re-entered (e.g. to correct an error in lodgement order). Please follow the procedures below.

Full withdrawal

A dealing can be fully withdrawn only by either:

  • the lodger of a dealing
  • a person authorised by the lodger in writing.

The request must be in the form of a letter (on letterhead if by a solicitor or company). This can be submitted by using our online enquiry form.

Following full withdrawal, the original dealing will be returned to the lodger.

Withdrawal and re-entry

A dealing may need to be withdrawn and re-entered, for example when it has been lodged in the wrong order or when a party signs a form after lodgement.

In these cases, a letter from the lodger will be required (on letterhead if by a solicitor or company). It is important that the letter requests the withdrawal and re-entry of the dealing and not just the withdrawal.

When the dealing is re-entered, it will be given a new dealing number (re-entered/re-lodged) so that it can continue to registration.

For more information on withdrawal of dealings and fees involved in this process, see section 159 of the Land Title Act 1994 and part 60-0150 of the land title practice manual.

If you have any further questions about the withdrawal process, please use our online enquiry form.

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