The recent case of Cameron v Cameron  concerned an inheritance dispute that questioned the ownership and transfer of a property and whether a Land Registry form was effective in transferring property ownership.
After the death of their mother, Mrs Cameron, siblings Craig and Camille litigated over the family home – a three-bedroom bungalow in Middlesex.
Craig argued the property belonged 100% to their late mother, meaning he was entitled to half from her estate. However, Camille said she jointly purchased the property with her mother under a Right to Buy scheme in 2014. She also claimed that, in any event, Mrs Cameron transferred the property to her in June 2018 before passing away later that same month.
The court case brought by Craig focussed on three issues:
Issue 1: Should the 2014 Land Registry TP1 form be rectified by the court to remove the declaration of trust on the basis of common mistake by Mrs Cameron and Camille or unilateral mistake by Mrs Cameron? If the answer is no, the property was held as joint tenants. If the answer is yes:
Issue 2: From the time of purchase did Mrs Cameron and Camille hold the beneficial interest in the property as joint tenants or on trust for Mrs Cameron alone?
Issue 3: If Mrs Cameron and Camille did not hold the beneficial interest in the property as joint tenants, was the 2018 Land Registry TR1 form effective to transfer the entire beneficial interest to Camille?
Craig’s claim was first pleaded on the basis that there was no intention of a joint tenancy between Camille and Mrs Cameron. It seems he was unaware of the declaration of trust on the face of the Land Registry Transfer TP1 form completed by Camille and their mother when they purchased in 2014. It was not clear if Craig’s investigations had overlooked the TP1 document signed by his mother and Camille, or if Camille had not disclosed this form in the earlier stages.
Ultimately Craig amended his pleadings to include arguments of mistake and rectification.
Craig successful on issue 3 as he persuaded the judge that the 2018 TR1 form was not effective to transfer the property to Camille, because Mrs Cameron did not validly sign the form with Camille’s assistance following her full, free and informed decision.
However, Camille was the successful party overall as Craig failed in his attempts to challenge the express declaration contained in the 2014 TP1 form. The form recorded Camille and her mother owned the property as joint tenants meaning that upon the death of either of them, the property automatically passes to the surviving owner irrespective of a Will.
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