What is a Survivorship Application?

Survivorship Application

In the realm of property law in Victoria, a survivorship application holds significant weight. It's a formal legal process that facilitates the seamless transfer of property rights from a deceased joint owner to the surviving owner. This procedure ensures that the property title accurately reflects the current ownership, safeguarding the legal rights of the surviving owner. It's not just a bureaucratic step; it's a crucial legal transition that solidifies ownership and clears the way for future decisions regarding the property.

Essential Steps in the Survivorship Application Process

Navigating the survivorship application involves several key steps:

  1. Perform Title Searches: It's vital to start with a comprehensive search of the property's legal status.
  2. Application Preparation: Drafting an application to amend the certificate of title is the next critical step, requiring meticulous attention to detail.
  3. Document Certification: This involves getting official certification for essential documents, such as the death certificate of the deceased owner.
  4. Informing Authorities: The change in ownership needs to be officially communicated to relevant government bodies.
  5. Document Submission: All necessary documents must be lodged through PEXA (Property Exchange Australia).
  6. Mortgage Considerations: If there's an existing mortgage, coordinating with the bank for settlement actions is imperative.

When is the Application Necessary?

A survivorship application is indispensable in scenarios of joint ownership when one owner passes away. It becomes especially urgent if there's an intention to sell the property, as the updated and accurate title is fundamental for a legitimate sale process.

Process Overview in Victoria

In Victoria, the process is streamlined via PEXA and requires several key documents:

  • Application by the surviving proprietor form.
  • The property's Certificates of Title.
  • Identity verification documents.
  • A statutory declaration.
  • The deceased owner's death certificate.
  • A Notice of Acquisition.

Processing times can vary but are typically between 3 to 10 business days, subject to specific circumstances.

Bank Involvement and Financial Considerations

The process becomes more complex with a mortgaged property. The surviving owner must engage with the bank to discuss options, such as settling the existing loan or securing a new mortgage. Understanding the financial implications, including potential capital gains tax responsibilities, is also crucial.

Simplifying the Survivorship Application

Losing a joint property owner is emotionally challenging, compounded by the legal complexities of survivorship applications. Seeking expert legal guidance is advisable to streamline this process. Conveyancers can provide invaluable assistance, making this difficult period more manageable.


For joint property owners in Victoria, mastering the survivorship application process is essential. Although it might appear daunting, with the right guidance and support, it becomes significantly more manageable. Pearson Chambers Conveyancing offers professional expertise and support, ensuring that this critical process is handled with care and efficiency, especially during times of loss.