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Keeping it by the Book: 5 Need-to-Knows Regarding Property Transfers

Real estate in this country has been tracked and logged for a long, long time. In a country which was once divided amongst several empires, this comes as no surprise. Every piece of land, it’s value and who owns it is documented in an official system. Let’s take a look at some important facts about property transfers.

  1. Documentation is King

When it comes to property, the deed is king. Ownership is always proven through presentation of this document and there are copies held by the county recorder. This information is usually publicly available too, so you can check the details for yourself if you like.

If a property is sold or transferred, this needs to be logged with the recorders office and the deed needs to be updated. Failure to do this can cause big problems later on, as it might completely invalidate the deal. This type of situation could end with the purchaser needing to make a civil claim just to try and regain something.

  1. Property Can Be Transferred on Death

There are ways to bring about an automatic transfer of a property. The main one is a life estate deed. This type of deed basically signs the property over to a nominated person, known pn paperwork as the ‘remainderman’. This person technically becomes the property owner, but the granter may nominate somebody (usually themselves) to live in the property for life. That way they know their home is safe forever before signing anything over.

  1. There Are Alternative Deed Types

A life estate deed isn’t the only way to transfer a property. You can also simply buy a deed, or you could inherit one or be gifted it. There are also enhanced life estate deeds, known as ladybird deeds, which add more security to the original property owner. Under this type of deed the occupant/granter remains the legal owner until their passing, so the remainderman won’t have the property taken into consideration as a legal possession of theirs until that time. For some people this is highly beneficial.

  1. Different Deed Types Can Offer Differing Security

You can already see how the different life estate deeds can affect the security of the property for the owner. There are also different types of deeds when selling a property. The different types relate to the types of guarantees that are included. A strong deed, like a general warranty deed, will give you the most peace of mind as it guarantees ownership, no debts and no disputes on the property. The seller also agrees to help you if any such situation does arise. From here there are lower levels of deed with lesser guarantees included.

  1. All Transfers Must be Official

Now that you know a bit more about deeds, you should also know that you can’t just sign one over at any old time. It has to be witnessed by an official witness and signed off on by a notary. This is a security system in place to prevent fraudulent or predatory sales.