If the last two years has shown us anything it has certainly demonstrated that life is forever changing for all of us and often the impact of these changes is beyond what we or anyone can predict.

Often  life changes can be something positive like marriage or the beginning of a  relationship or conversely it could be a death in the family or a divorce/separation. Either way these situations are of a sensitive nature and need to be dealt with carefully so you need the right professional to guide you through the process. (Especially in times of crisis when we might not be thinking as clearly as in normal circumstances.)

If you need to transfer a property between family members, business partners or as part of a de facto relationship then your conveyancer can prepare the necessary documents for you regardless of whether it is the result of a relationship that has ended or of one with new beginnings.

There are several ways to transfer property; gifting, sale or court order but with all you will need your conveyancer to act on your behalf. Property may be transferred by agreement, pursuant to a sale, or pursuant to an order of court. You will need a conveyancer to act on your behalf. Your conveyancer will make sure the transfer is done in accordance with any agreement or orders.

When your Family/Matrimonial Transfer is a result of a new relationship then your conveyancer will arrange for the relevant documents to be prepared and lodged in order that registration can take place. There could be a bank involved as well so the appropriate documents will need to lodged with any relevant discharges or new loans at the Land Titles Office.

Your Conveyancer will also ask you if you are going to be Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common and advise you (if you haven’t already) to obtain reputable legal advice as the implications can be life changing. Some couples will become Joint Tenants and this means that the registered proprietors own the property jointly – but, if they are in new relationship or have children then they might want to become tenants in common. Tenants in common can decide what percentage each party owns and with Tenants in Common it is critical that both parties mention the land in their wills. It does not transfer automatically  to the surviving tenant in common but must be dealt with in their estate via probate.


When your Family/Matrimonial Transfer is a result of a relationship that has ended your conveyancer is a really good place to start by discussing your situation. Your conveyancer will be able to help you understand the upcoming steps to take such as;

  • Speaking to a solicitor to arrange consent orders or a Binding Financial Agreement
  • Stamp duty implications
  • Refinancing process with financiers if required

If you are going through a separation or divorce and your property has to be transferred as part of your property settlement then your conveyancer can prepare the necessary documents for you as well as liaise with the financier. To do this a Family Court Order with clear instructions of the property transaction is the best course of action. If you transfer a share of the matrimonial home to a former spouse or de facto partner you are usually NOT liable to pay Stamp Duty.

Sometimes a caveat will need to placed over the property to secure the interest of a non registered party if Family Court Orders are yet to be done.

See also: What is a Caveat?

In many cases no Family Court Orders or Binding Financial Agreements have been prepared. It is in your best interest to arrange for these with a solicitor prior to transferring ownership to protect yourself against further claims.

Quite often in delicate and stressful situations the parties are not talking or there could be restraint orders in place so your conveyancer will ensure all addresses, contact details etc remain confidential. This is a very good reason why you need your own conveyancer to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. Your Conveyancer will be experienced in these matters and will have dealt with these issues before; it is a good time in your life to have someone experienced and qualified to ensure your best interests are looked after.


It is possible for the transfer of property to be FREE of stamp duty under certain conditions, such as:

  • A couple that is married to each other
  • A de facto relationship, including same-sex couples that have been cohabitating in a bona fide relationship over a period of more than 2 years.
  • A court order
  • A couple has a child together
  • It is the matrimonial home


  • prepare the legal documentation required to transfer the land including the necessary statutory declarations for stamp duty purposes
  • liaise with your mortgage broker and/or your financial institution to ensure all necessary documentation is completed correctly and is ready for settlement
  • adjust all rates, taxes and levies if required
  • prepare a settlement statement detailing all funds due and payable at settlement
  • disburse any funds at settlement in accordance with any Court Orders
  • advise the various government authorities of the change of ownership


If you own a property with your spouse as joint tenants then an Application to Register Death is required to be lodged at the Land Titles Office which takes the deceased joint owner from the Certificate of Title.

However, if ownership is by way of tenants in common then a Transmission Application will need to be lodged instead. In this instance a Grant of Probate will be required before the property can be dealt with. The Transmission Application transmits the ownership to the Executor of the Estate who can then either sell the property or transfer the property to the beneficiaries of the Estate.

See: Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common


Often a Change of Name document is required to amend the name on the Certificate of Title. This comes about due to marriage, divorce or even a change of name by deed poll. If you are refinancing, your bank will do this as part of the new mortgage. In other circumstances your conveyancer will arrange it.

The same applies when you change your address. Most often this does not get done until you refinance or need to change it for other reasons however you are able to lodge a Change of Address document at the Land Titles Office anytime at no charge.

At McKay Business Services we are fully aware of the sensitivity of all these types of transactions.

We will be there with you every step of the way to make sure the process is as seamless and as stress free as possible.


The team at McKay Business Services are all members of the AICSA and are proud Adelaide conveyancers