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Laws which govern our life often seem complex. Why are they written in language that the general population has difficulty in understanding.
Simplified English, the common language used in Australia, surely has enough words to describe transferring the ownership of a house from one person to another. Will and Testament! Another example of a regular and necessary situation being confused by words from other countries and and ancient times. Why is it necessary to execute a document when it is much easier to simply sign your name?
This blog will open your eyes and your mind to the ideas of handling simple legal matters such as buying or selling real estate, writing your own Will or acting as executor and applying for probate your-self. Read our blogs to gradually understand how to conveyance house, land or unit. How to update your Will as your family situation changes. Or email us to receive assistance in finding a legal answer to your query.
If you have visited this page before scroll down and you will find new material.
Blogging requires a casual approach to a subject so let’s see if I can manage it and still give interesting and factual information. As a specialist in legal kits I still need to advise that despite fifty odd years of experience I am not a solicitor and am not allowed to give advice. I can explain things in simple English, though.
Buying a home is a big deal in any bodies life so I will talk about that.
Let’s talk about selling your house, or buying you a new one!
Selling and buying are words that we understand but not the words that the solicitor uses. He wishes to conveyance it. As most people would think, the buying and selling are actually the processes undertaken by the person who has the property and the person who wants to gain the property. The real estate agent is the person who brings the buyer and seller together. He has neither bought nor sold it either. The solicitor is the party that handles the legalities of the transaction. In most cases the legalities are straight forward as when a property, owned by one party is sold to another party. This action becomes confusing to the public because it is termed a ‘conveyance’ by the solicitor.
Before we can sell something we have to own it. How do we come to own land.?
How far back should we go on the subject of land ownership. It is doubtful if anybody is able to say. Doubtful that they can even surmise when a person first thought that they had the right to call a piece of the PLANET EARTH their own property.
You must realise that the views which I express in this blog relating to the idea of cave men claiming ownership of a particular cave are pure conjecture and if any reader can set us all straight it will be gratefully received.
The views of ownership held by us humans, in the whole scheme of things, is little different to the views of ownership held by other living beings. Birds, fish, insects, mammals and probably every other living matter in the world. Maybe this only applies to living matter that can move from one spot on the surface of the world to a different spot even if it is only a millimetre away. Humans are not likely to worry about a millimetre unless it means whether the batsman should be out leg before wicket or not. However, I have heard that some genus of gum trees deliberately poison the ground beneath their outspread branches to prevent the growth of other plant life from invading the area and stealing the moisture or nutrients contained there-in.
Living beings, bird or fish, possum or parrot all lay claim to where they live and strive to prevent others of their specie from occupying property too close to where they call home. Their method of protection may be raising their hackles, barking, claws or biting. They want an area where they can live and feed without being harassed by other living units which might cause them strife. The larger the area required for them to find enough food or water then the larger the area which they need to consider their own.
Now consider humans for a moment. We are going back to the very early stages where water, basic foods, and the odd hollow tree constituted their home. Family members were probably accepted as neighbours, but a stranger invading their area was to be driven off or eaten. At that stage, then, it was for self- preservation and by superior strength or numbers which enabled them to retain possession. Solicitors had not yet been invented.
For most living creatures the same assets are still relied upon to safe-guard their living area but man-kind, being smarter, devised other ways of protecting their plot. They realised that they did not need to personally snarl, scratch or bite an invader – they could hit him with a tree branch. As their brain grew bigger their muscles were less required. They realised that by allowing other cave men to live along-side their cave they in turn needed to do less fighting and could spend more time in studying the property market.
Jump forward a fewf million years and we now find that groups of humans, wanting to spend a few months by the sea or in more pleasant surrounding than where they lived, would wander off looking for areas where there was still plenty of wild life running around. If there was a small group of humans living there all they had to do was hit them hard over the head with their tree branch.
This was an early form of property transfer.
I think we can agree at this stage that the old saying ‘possession is 90% of the law” is pretty accurate. Those in occupation could claim to own it. A marauding Viking with a boat load of mates could hardly claim possession of a village until the poor, peace-loving, Brit had been chased or chopped. But what about actual ownership where you could leave your cave or hut, go away for a couple of weeks to visit you wife’s parents and then come home to your own cave without having to fight your way past the front door mat.
The next step is hard to determine but could hardly occur until the ability to make a visible claim of ownership over a defined plot of land, or single story cave with extensive views was possible to carve into the rock wall. In due course animal skins, papyrus, tree bark etc. were used as material on which diagrams could be scratched much more easily but there was still the difficulty of describing a cave or tree sufficiently clearly to persuade a marauding Saxon that you had prior rights to live there.
Have you noticed that many parcels of land in to-days world are bordered by a water-way. A river or creek bank is usually long lasting and a good way of denoting a boundary.
William the Conqueror caused problems for the Brits not only at Hastings. Incidentally the battle was not at Hastings it was further along the coast at an actual town which has since been known as Battle. As an invader he was not tremendously popular and so induced members of his force to settle in various parts of the English country-side. The inducements were vast tracts of land which became their property. In return they had to force the local inhabitants to form an army ready to defend William against his enemies.
In order to know what he was worth and how much he could demand from his land-holders William arranged for a team of subjects to travel the land and make a written record of the land holdings of his individual mates. All the information was written into the one book and finished around 1088. This surely was the beginning of written land titles. Incidentally the record was known as the ‘Doomsday Book’. More information in due course.
More next time. By the way if you want to know what our kits contain just look up www.legalkitspecialists.com.au .
The law in Australia is claimed to prevent a person, who is not a qualified legal practitioner, from actually giving legal advice. However, I have not been able, despite many hours researching via Google, to actually locate any statement to that end. There is legislation in some States of Australia that prevents businesses, or persons, from handling conveyancing work on behalf of others but surely a father can assist his child in the purchase of land for a future home. Incidentally, conveyancing is the term applied to arranging the official transfer of real estate from one person to another. We do not intend to give advice on court actions but to explain the procedures and the forms which are used.
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