A property deed is a document that provides ownership of a piece of land or real property. The ownership is referred to as "title," while the actual document or evidence is called the "deed." Deeds basically provide proof that one person owns a particular plot of land. It also gives them certain rights, such as the right to sell title to another person, or the right to exclude others from using the land or building.
What Is Required for a Valid Deed?
In order for a deed to be considered valid, it must:
- Be written
- Be signed by the grantor (the person transferring the deed)
- Accurately describe the property in question
Regarding the last point, the property should be identifiable solely from the description in the deed, without having to rely on outside sources. Also, once the deed is received by the recipient, it should be promptly recorded with the county recorder of deeds or similar office. This will provide a record of the transfer of ownership.
What Are Trust Deeds?
With a trust deed, the deed is transferred "in trust", which means it is first transferred to a trustee before it is actually passed to the beneficiary. The trustee will hold the deed for a specified time until the grantor instructs them to transfer it to the beneficiary. This can be done for several reasons.
For instance, suppose that a grandparent wishes to transfer a property deed to their grandchild. They may choose to use a trust deed to hold the property in trust until the grandchild reaches a certain age. Trust deeds can often help prevent certain types of disputes and miscommunications regarding deed transfers.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Property Deeds?
Property deed laws can vary from state to state. You may need to hire a real estate lawyer for help when it comes to dealing with property deeds. Your attorney can provide you with valuable legal advice and insights regarding property laws. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit over a deed dispute, your lawyer can represent you and help you obtain a legal remedy.