Deceased estate sales often require a survivorship application or transmission application.

How survivorship applications can delay settlement

Survivorship applications and transmission applications are now more likely to cause settlement delays, unless they are accounted for when writing the Offer and Acceptance.

As you may know, the purpose of both survivorship applications and transmission applications is to transfer property after an owner has passed away. Survivorship applications transfer property to the remaining joint tenant(s), while transmission applications transfer property to beneficiaries.

One of these applications is often required before the settlement of a deceased estate sale, and generally, these applications take around 4-8 weeks to be processed by Landgate. In the past, however, lenders were willing to accept these applications on the day of settlement. The application could then be processed at the same time as the Transfer of Land, saving clients from weeks of waiting.

Now, many lenders will no longer accept survivorship applications or transmission applications at settlement. While the seller’s settlement agent can check with the buyer’s lender to see if they’ll accept the application at settlement, many of the larger lenders do not accept them. It’s likely that most (if not all) lenders will stop accepting them in the near future.

Because of this change, survivorship applications and transmission applications need to be lodged, and the dealing completed, at Landgate before settlement can proceed. Landgate’s normal turnaround time to process an application is around 4-8 weeks. (While there is a chance that dealings can be expedited, Landgate doesn’t provide a time frame for this.)

As such, sellers who need to lodge a survivorship application or transmission application are at risk of facing a long settlement delay, as well as costly penalty interest.

To avoid delays, take survivorship applications and transmission applications into account when writing the Offer and Acceptance. For example, this could be done by setting the settlement date as ‘x’ amount of days after the issue of the Certificate of Title pursuant to the survivorship or transmission application.

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