Deeds may seem simple at first glance, but they are essential legal documents that concern the right or ownership of property or possessions, and usually involve the transfer of title to property. Deeds are necessary for any sale of real property, as the ownership must be passed from the grantor to the grantee, and it should be done after consulting an attorney. Any document that dictates the transfer of ownership should always be drafted properly to avoid serious consequences.
Certain criteria must be met before drawing up a deed, and an attorney can help you make sure that everything is in order while you prepare the sale of your property. Mistakes in this process can have huge, sometimes adverse, implications, so an attorney should be consulted for proper legal advice. Your attorney will be responsible for delivering the deed to the buyer in a real estate transaction, and to verify that the buyer has accepted the deed. It is also necessary to have witnesses to the signing of the deed, to prepare for any later disputes about its authenticity.
The purpose of a deed is to explicitly state what property is being transferred, and who it belongs to. If a deed isn’t properly drafted there can be serious consequences which may result in legal disputes. One of the most common issues with a flawed deed is a boundary dispute. It’s possible that you have had your property surveyed previously, but occasionally past versions of surveys may surface, which can lead to disagreements about property lines. Liens you were unaware of, easements for use of your property that were not explicitly stated, or even unreliable public records can all have a huge effect on the transfer of property. There may even be situations where previously drawn deeds are illegal due to the person who drafted them or they may contain forged information. Even if it was in the past, these incidents will still have consequences for current deeds.
Joint tenants are parties that have equal ownership of a property. The most common example of this is a married couple--both of them would own 100% of their property and neither of them would have more claim over it than the other. In the event of one tenant's death, the property would automatically be transferred to the joint tenant. Tenants in common are a little different, and could be likened more to shareholders of a property. Individuals in a tenancy in common will be independently responsible for their part, and can even sell their share without permission from other tenants. This can be a good way to clearly distinguish what percentage of an asset people own, and some parties may have a higher claim than others. Both options can have pros and cons, and which is right for you is unique to the situation.
A power of attorney is separate from a deed. It appoints someone specific as an agent, and gives them the power to act on your behalf concerning certain matters. The document will explicitly state exactly what powers you are giving to the selected agent, and you can choose when the powers are to be allocated. It is a very useful document to have drafted, as there may be situations in the future where you will not be able to manage your own affairs due to illness or injury.
If you have decided to avoid the risks, and have a deed or power of attorney document properly drafted by a law office, The Santee Legal Center is able to help with these documents for any type of transaction. Transferring personal or real property is something that shouldn’t be done without proper consultation, so don’t hesitate to reach out at (619) 258-8335.
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