An abstract of title is a
written chronology of all recorded documents and proceedings related to a
specific piece of real estate. It shows the names of all the owners, how
long each held title, and what each paid for the property.
is used for verifying a property’s marketability. The abstract offers
assurance that the property is just as the seller represents it, both in the
accuracy of its physical description and the integrity of its title.
title abstract goes back in history to the earliest available records—sometimes
as far back as the original land grant or patent deed from the U.S.
The abstractor of title is the
person who researches this history, summarizes the relevant documents, and
certifies the binder as true and complete.
Continue reading “The Abstract of Title in Real Estate: What Is It?”
is closing on a condo. Corey has just one more question for the title
why, in the definitions in the mortgage agreement for the recorder’s office,
I’m called “Corey McCann, a single woman.” Only my name is relevant.
I could understand declaring the single
status—if there is a firm reason that the record must show, for example, that
there is no co-habitant or person who might try to claim an interest in a
divorce. But I don’t voluntarily identify myself in public documents or online
by gender. I’d rather not do so now.
company agent answers:
Continue reading “Preferred Pronouns in Real Estate Deeds”
If you are
married and live in a community property state, you and your spouse may not
think about whether certain assets are community or separate property. The
former is generally all property acquired during the marriage, and the latter
consists of property owned by each spouse before they wed. Separate property
also includes assets inherited by one spouse or gifted to the individual. Say
one spouse inherited a house from their parents, and rent out the dwelling. The
rent received by the inheriting spouse is considered separate property.
marital home is actually separate property, as one spouse owned it prior to the
marriage. Even though the spouses may share financial responsibility for the
house, such as paying the mortgage and taxes together, or other expenses such
as insurance and repairs, in reality the home belongs to just one of them. No
matter how much the non-owning spouse may contribute to the property’s upkeep,
it’s not a marital asset. For fairness’ sake, it may make sense to change the
property from separate to community, via a process known as transmutation.
Continue reading “The Transmutation of Real Estate Ownership Between Married Couples in Community Property States”
A quitclaim deed
conveys—”quits”—a person’s interest in a property to someone else.
Quitclaims prove useful in certain transfers of properties among family members
or between divorcing spouses. The quitclaim allows separating partners to
follow a court’s direction and leave one party as sole owner of the marital
home. Quitclaims might seem convenient in other circumstances, but they are
rarely the best choice.
In contrast to
the warranty deed, a quitclaim deed offers no assurances of
clear title. In most jurisdictions a recorder of deeds must simply
record a quitclaim deed; it is not the recorder’s role to investigate the
circumstances of the conveyance.
Scammers may take advantage of the quitclaim’s
simplicity to siphon equity
from vulnerable people. After recording a quitclaim, a bad actor may sell
the property with no guarantees, rent it under false pretenses, or exploit its
underlying value as collateral.
Spot the Mortgage Relief Scam
Continue reading “Don’t Quit Your Claim! A Quitclaim Deed Is Not a Mortgage Saving or Estate Planning Tool”
When a person dies, the property owned by the deceased
person—alone, or in the names of the deceased and another person without
survivorship rights—finds its way to the county probate court.
If the deceased person co-owned property, and the living
co-owner holds a right of survivorship, probate is not an issue for
the real estate. The asset passes to the surviving owner upon presentation of a
certified copy of the former owner’s death certificate. In other words, the
surviving co-owner absorbs the share of the person who has died.
Yet many people die as the sole owners of real estate, which
then becomes probate property.
Continue reading “Your Real Estate and Probate”