Deeding Property Away

People often wonder how they can transfer a title in real estate from one person or an entity to another. The issue arises because real estate is unmovable and cannot be physically handed over to another person or entity.

A. Deeds

To get around these realities, the law provides for the transfer of title in real estate through documents known as “deeds.”  Deeds are documents that transfer ownership of real estate from the current owner (called “grantor”) to a new owner (“grantee”). In run-of-the-mill transfers, deeds often are simple, one-to-two-page documents that say that the property’s current owner surrenders their interest in the property to a new owner. You can see a sample of a deed here.

Two of the most common and useful deeds are a “grant deed” and a “quitclaim deed.” The basic difference between the two is that a grant deed guarantees that the property that will be conveyed is free and clear of any issues (encumbrances) that have not been disclosed to the new owner, but the quitclaim deed does not make such a guarantee.

B. What to do with a deed?

Once the current owner has decided to transfer the title to a new owner, the current owner fills out, signs, and notarizes the applicable deed form—and then delivers (via carrier or in-person) the deed for recordation with the county clerk or register’s office where the property resides.

The italicized language of the preceding paragraph is important, so let us take a closer look. The current owner—not the new owner—must sign the deed. But the current owner’s signature is not enough. They must get the deed notarized through a notary public, as shown in the sample linked above (happily, the notarization process is simple and routine). Countless deeds are rejected every day because the current owner has failed to meet this requirement. Finally, once the deed is fully signed and notarized, the deed must be filed in the county where the property resides— not the county where the current or new owner resides. If this last requirement is not met, the deed will not be recorded.

C. Summary

In short, real estate property is conveyed via legal devices known as deeds. Generally speaking, these must be signed by the current property owner and then notarized before a notary public. Finally, the deeds must be filed in the county where the property resides. These rules should be followed closely; otherwise, your deed will be rejected.

If you require assistance with your deeds, we are happy to help. Please contact us at info@mnklawyers.com.

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.

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