Life is a permanent learning journey, and modern technology never stands still. That’s why people study how software can increase their business potential or read about new laws and legislation.
Whether they’re related to your personal or business life, deeds are another important area to fully understand. It’s vital that you fully appreciate what you’re signing and what are the implications of doing so. Knowledge is power, and in this article, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about deeds.
What Is A Deed?
In relation to property, a deed is a legal document that transfers the ownership from one party to another. There are two main types of deeds: “limited” and “general.”
A “limited” deed restricts the person who receives ownership of a property to using it for only one particular purpose. For example, if someone sells you land with an agreement that prohibits building on it, this is considered a “limited” deed and it should be legally binding.
In contrast to limited deeds, general deeds transfer full ownership over properties. There’s no limit as to what type of conditions owners can place into their documents, so long as they don’t violate state laws (e.g. discrimination practices based on race, gender, sexual orientation or restrictions against gambling etc.).
How To Draft A Deed
For starters, you will need to hire an attorney to ensure that it is effective and watertight in every way. It is therefore important that the person you choose has experience in drafting deeds. The documents should be worded carefully so they accurately reflect what the parties intend at the time of transfer. Drafting a property deed requires the ability to:
- assess fair market values for real estate transactions
- record requirements under applicable state law
- include statutory warranty protections available in certain states
- comply with FHA/VA loan program rules (requiring lenders to approve all transfers before closing on the sale or refinancing loans secured by properties purchased with government-backed financing assistance programs)
- consider probate and estate taxes during the transfer of the property
- comply with federal tax rules governing transfers
As you can see, there are a host of important legal elements that go into drafting a deed, making the process both complex and time-consuming. People who visit the QuickDeeds website prove that it’s popular to get attorneys to prepare deeds and title insurance at record speed. This applies whether they are Ladybird Deeds, Transfer On Death Deeds, Quitclaim Deeds, Grant Deeds, Correction Deeds and more.
How To Change A Deed
Sometimes circumstances change and people require an amendment to a deed. This is not always possible, depending on the original wording. If you are trying to change your name on a deed, for example, this can be done by filing a Deed Amendment form with the County Clerk’s office in which you live.
It is best practice to call ahead of time before going into the office, as they may require paperwork such as identification documents or other information. Make sure that all old copies of deeds are brought along with you. Bring enough copies for every party involved, including yourself. Even if others do not need them, bring spares because mistakes often happen when people copy or sign legal forms. Once a deed of amendment has been completed by all parties, be sure to keep it with the original deed.
Where To Store A Deed
It may be that you will be required to keep the original documentation, in which case you must make sure it is kept securely. Better still, keep it with a bank or lawyer for safekeeping. This way you’ll know exactly where it is, and there will be less chance of it getting lost or destroyed by mistake.
If you purchase a storage unit (either online or from your local storage facility), the company will provide you with a storage agreement. This is usually given to you before they hand over the keys and show you around your new storage space. The first thing that should stand out on this document is three key phrases: “owner of goods”, “seller’s interest in goods” and “title documents/deeds/certificates”. These words are designed to describe exactly what it is that you are keeping there.
If Deeds Are Lost
It’s important to understand that every community has its own rules about what happens when property deeds are missing. The local government can provide more information on this topic. Some communities may demand that a new deed is purchased from the county recorder before transferring property, while others might consider it lost.
In some areas, if you have proof of your original purchase or other means to prove ownership without a title document (such as possession for decades), local authorities will make an attempt to look up the case in their records and restore the property rights back to you.
If Deeds Are Stolen Or Forged
In these scenarios, legal measures must be taken through law enforcement agencies to help get the situation under control. Property owners who need assistance should seek professional advice from lawyers experienced in these types of cases so they know what to do next. Whether it’s filing charges against the thief or having a forensic expert analyze the deed, some action needs to be taken.
In many cases where forged deeds are discovered, those responsible for this type of crime can face considerable jail time and fines, as well as repayment for damages done by those deeds. In serious cases involving stolen property documents, individuals might also have their real estate license revoked permanently.
As you can see, it’s vital to keep a handle on a deed’s location once it’s been executed and witnessed by all parties. Always involve a lawyer before you draft a deed or sign one, to make sure that it serves its correct purpose. An attorney will be best placed to identify any potential loopholes in the wording. Then you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing this deed is your surety, whether it relates to property ownership or something else.