Transfer Land Ownership

Land owners can transfer their title to anyone or any corporate entity they wish. Usually, titles are bought and sold between individuals and corporations, but they can also be freely given.

A land owner can also will their title to any beneficiary they have named. Titles may also be transferred as a result of bankruptcy, death, expropriation, a tax enforcement proceeding or court order.

A title may be held by one or more individuals or corporations. A title may also be transferred to one or more individuals or corporations. This means that a number of possible title transfer options exist.

Transaction types can vary from the simple, like a transfer of a residential lot between one individual and another, to the more complex, like the transfer of multiple lots in a large subdivision between a variety of individuals and groups.

Ownership Structures

There are two ways that people or corporations can own land together:
  1. Tenants in Common – When individuals hold title as Tenants in Common, they each own a specified portion of the title and can will their specified share to whomever they choose when they die. If one of the owners dies, the title forms part of the deceased person’s estate as per the instructions of the will or intestacy. The minimum mineral fraction is 1/20 per commodity per parcel. When companies hold title as Tenants in Common, they are governed under the Business Corporation Act, which can be referenced for further details.
  2. Joint Tenants – When owners hold title as Joint Tenants, they each own 100% of the title, but they own it together as one. When one owner dies, the other owner still owns 100% of the title but now as a single owner. The land that was owned jointly does not form part of the assets of the deceased person’s estate. An Application for Surviving Joint Tenant would be required to remove the deceased person’s name from the title. When companies hold title as Joint Tenants, they are governed under the Business Corporation Act, which can be referenced for further details.

Transferring Ownership

There are a few basic options for transferring a change in ownership. Use the one that best suits your ownership structure and situation. 

Transfer a Single Land Title - Use this type of application where ownership is held by one owner or Joint Tenant relationship.

Transfer Multiple Land Titles - Use this type of application whenever a Tenants in Common ownership structure is involved in a transfer of ownership or whenever multiple titles are involved in the transfer application. This application can also be used to change the ownership structure from one to many or many to one.

Transfer a Title When an Owner Dies - There are two possibilities for transferring title when a property owner dies: 
  1. A Transfer to Surviving Joint Tenant is used when the title is held jointly and survivorship right exist.
  2. A Transmission on Death is used when the owner(s) dies and the title must be transferred to an Executor or Personal Representative.

Authorizations Required for Transferring Ownership

We must receive appropriate authorization to register a transfer.
If a title is voluntarily transferred (either through a sale or it is given freely), the authorization comes from the signature of the registered owner(s), verified by affidavit of execution or the signature of a witness who is a practicing lawyer in Saskatchewan.

If a title is involuntarily transferred, the authorization comes from the expropriation order, the tax enforcement order, or the court order.

In the case of a surviving joint tenant, the authorization is the affidavit accompanied by the death certificate of the deceased joint tenant.

In the case of death or bankruptcy, the authorization comes from the production of a document verifying the authority of the personal representative or trustee, like letters probate or letters of administration.

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