A conveyance of an estate in real property in Idaho can be made by an instrument in writing, subscribed by the party granting the property, or by that person's agent authorized in writing (55-601). The term "conveyance" is seen to embrace every instrument in writing by which any estate or interest in Idaho real property is created, alienated, mortgaged, or encumbered, or by which the title to real property may be affected, except wills (55-813). Idaho does not offer a statutory form for a deed. Common deeds in this state are the warranty deed and quitclaim deed. A warranty deed includes covenants of title while a quitclaim deed does not.
Any person, whether citizen or alien, can take, hold, and dispose of real or personal property in Idaho (55-103). In Idaho, the power to hold and convey real property or an interest in real property is given to people and corporations. The grantor in a real estate transaction, whether it is an individual, a corporation, or several people claiming jointly must be legally capable of granting the interest; and in turn, the grantee must be legally capable of receiving such interest or property. Every interest that is created in favor of several persons in their own right is an interest in common, unless it is acquired by them in partnership, for partnership purposes, or unless it is declared to be in joint interest or as community property (55-104). The type of conveyance used in a real estate transaction is determined by the way in which the title to property is held as well as the owner's intentions and rights.
A real estate deed must be signed and acknowledged by the grantor. The proof or acknowledgement of an instrument can be made anywhere in Idaho before a justice or clerk of the Supreme Court, a notary public, the secretary of state, or a United States commissioner (55-701). County recorders and a judge or clerk of a court of record in Idaho are also authorized to take acknowledgments or proof of deeds (55-702). Acknowledgments can also be taken out of state before a justice, judge, or clerk of any court of record in the U.S.; a commissioner appointed by the governor of the state for that purpose; a notary public; or any other officer of the state or territory who is authorized to take proof or acknowledgments in the state where the acknowledgement is made (55-703). The officer taking the acknowledgment of an instrument must endorse a certificate on the instrument that is in substantially the form provided by Idaho statute, section 55-710. If an instrument is not acknowledged, it may be proved by the parties executing it or by a subscribing witness (55-718). The acknowledgment of an instrument is necessary in order for it to be recorded with a county recorder in Idaho. The homestead of a married person cannot be conveyed or encumbered unless the instrument by which it is conveyed or encumbered is executed and acknowledged by both husband and wife, except that a husband and wife (or both jointly) can make and execute powers of attorney for the conveyance or encumbrance of the homestead (55-1007). When submitting the deed to the county recorder for recording, the grantee's name and complete mailing address must be present on the instrument (55-601). For further requirements and for specific recording guidelines, visit the Idaho Recorder section.
Any instrument or judgment affecting the title to or possession of real property in Idaho can be recorded with the county recorder in the county where the property is located. In order for an instrument to serve as constructive notice of the contents to subsequent purchasers and mortgagees, it must be acknowledged or proved, and certified, and recorded as required by law (55-811). Every conveyance of real property other than a lease for a term not exceeding one year is void against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee in good faith and for a valuable consideration of the same property, whose conveyance is first duly recorded (55-812). If left unrecorded, an instrument will be valid between the parties to it and those who have notice of it (55-815).
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