What Is a Deed of Assent?

Ballpoint pen and glasses resting on last will and testament
••• William_Potter/iStock/GettyImages

A deed of assent is an aspect of probate law necessary to transfer a property from the name of a deceased person to the intended heir. The executor of the will, who handles the dispersal of the deceased person's property and belongings, agrees to sign over the property into the heir's name.

About the Deed of Assent

A deed of assent transfers the property titles of a deceased person into the name of the heir that is meant to get the property (ref 1). The written document states that the administrator of the will agrees to the title transfer. Before the property can be transferred, all debts on the title, such as liens, must be paid.

How to Avoid the Need for a Deed of Assent

Obtaining a deed of assent is normally a process of filing out the appropriate papers for a probate office, as long as the transfer of the title is not contended. The services of a probate lawyer or solicitor are generally required. If the deed transfer is contented by another party seeking to inherit the property, then a lengthy court procedure can follow. The best way to avoid the need for probate lawyers and paperwork is for the deceased to transfer the property while still alive.

Applying for Probate

After the death of an individual, the person intending to distribute the assets must apply for probate from the local probate office. The individual who is granted probate is the one who officially administers the deeds of assent to heirs. Even if the executor is named in the will, he or she must still be apply for a grant of probate. If no executors were named in the will, the person seeking probate must get grant letters of administration.

The Land Registry

Each country has different rules and procedures for being granted a deed of assent. In the United Kingdom, for example, the change of ownership must be registered in the Land Registry. The Land Registry answers any questions regarding titles such as deeds of assent but does not give legal advice. The Land Registry can also be a useful resource if heirs of the deceased do not know if the deceased owned land or where the titles are held.

Related Articles