The owner of the property has a deed. Isn’t that proof of ownership?

Aug. 31st 2012

A deed is just a document by which the right of ownership in land is transferred, whatever that right may be. It’s not proof of ownership, and it doesn’t do away with rights others may have in the property. In addition, a deed won’t show you liens or claims that may be outstanding against the title.

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If I inherited property, does my spouse have the right to sell it after my death if I want it to go to our children?

Aug. 31st 2012

There are many factors that could play into this, and you would be wise to consult an attorney regarding your own situation. Your attorney will want to review the documents by which you received the property—and any additional documents recorded since that time—before giving a definitive answer.

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As my spouse & I get older, we want to be sure that our property matters are settled so they don’tt become a burden on our children. What are some of our options?

Aug. 31st 2012

There are as many options as there are families who want to make these provisions. You need to talk with your attorney to make sure that all the related matters that affect distribution of property are also taken care of in a way that will not muddy title or delay execution of your wishes.

That said, there is some general information that we can provide without making a recommendation as to what would work best for you.

A “Beneficiary Deed” or “Transfer on Death Deed” provides for the instant transfer of property upon the death of the last of the parties named. This will, in many cases, eliminate the need for lengthy probate proceedings prior to distribution of the property. Be sure that such a deed does not conflict with your last will. This type of deed only grants to your heir(s) the interest which you hold in the property at the time of death. That means that if you sell off any portion or the entire property prior to your death, the beneficiary deed would not hamper your ability to do that, and only the property remaining in your name would transfer at death.

If you divide the property prior to your death, you may choose to reserve a “Life Estate” for yourself and/or your spouse. This assures that ownership is transferred by warranty deed, even while making provision for you to live in your home and have use for the rest of your life of whatever portion of the property you choose to set aside.

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I want to split off some of my property to develop a few residential lots. Can your title agency help me with this?

Aug. 31st 2012

There are many parts of your subdivision that we can help you with, but you will also need to work closely with your county’s Planning and Zoning department. First, give them a call (Contact us if you are not sure how to reach your Planning and Zoning board.), to get the most up-to-date information regarding zoning requirements.

We can provide you with a map showing all the properties within the specified range. We will research the ownership of each of the affected properties and compile a list—with mailing addresses—so you can meet the requirements of the Planning and Zoning board regarding certified notice to property owners.

Plan ahead so you can give us advance notice of your research needs. This is a time-consuming process, and we want to help you meet your deadline. There is an additional charge for “rush” zoning requests because of the intensive staff time that is involved.

In addition to preparing materials for your Zoning application, we can work with you on title insurance, document preparation and recording, and many other details.

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What Is a Settlement Statement?

Aug. 31st 2012

A list of all charges and payments involved with the transaction. The closing statement should accurately depict the transaction being completed.

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What Is a Closing?

Aug. 31st 2012

The escrow officer or realtor will contact all parties to schedule a closing date that is convenient to all concerned. The purchaser or borrower is notified what to bring to closing (i.e. cashier’s check, curative matters, etc.) All parties meet (either together or separately) with the closer to execute all documents required to complete the transaction.

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What Is a Commitment?

Aug. 31st 2012

A commitment is a summary of pertinent information discovered in the search process that is used as the basis for clearing title and issuing a clear or marketable title policy to an owner and/or lender. The title commitment is made up of 3 sections:

  • Schedule A
  • Schedule B, Section I
  • Schedule B, Section II
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Are there any problems that a title search cannot reveal?

Aug. 31st 2012

There are some “hidden hazards” that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For instance, the previous owner could have incorrectly stated his marital status, resulting in a possible claim by his legal spouse. Other “hidden hazards” include fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names and clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership.

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What Is a Title Search?

Aug. 31st 2012

A title search is the process of determining from the public record just what these rights are and who owns them. A title search is a means of determining that the person who is selling the property really has the right to sell it and that the buyer is getting all the rights to the property (title) that is being purchased. In those transactions where title insurance is involved, the title agency must determine insurability of the title as part of the search process.

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When should I look into purchasing Title Insurance?

Aug. 31st 2012

As soon as you and the seller sign the real estate contract. There are a number of steps that must be taken to research the title, it is wise to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

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