DOV must the property be transferred?


I have a client who wishes to vary her late husbands will.

The variation is a commercial property value is £250,000 varied to her two sons. Their is no IHT implications. The mother wishes to vary and retain a 25% share, she is concerned about the implications of divorce or bankruptcy in terms of her sons.

My question is: Does the property need to be transferred at the land registry?

Richard Bishop

No, there is no legal obligation for the client to transfer the legal title into the joint names of the intended beneficial owners.

I suggest that she should execute a declaration of trust confirming the beneficial ownership, and that a restriction on title be lodged.

However, the reason for her not doing so appears somewhat suspect as it seems to be intended to mask the true beneficial ownership so that she might be unwilling for any restriction on title to be registered.

Whilst the adviser cannot force the client to amend the Land Registry title or register a restriction on title, with knowledge of the client’s intention to disguise the beneficial ownership can they continue to act in the matter without infringing Law Society or SRA guidelines or rules?

Paul Saunders


Hi Paul,

Thanks for answering the question. Other valid points duly noted.

Much appreciated

Richard Bishop