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Caroline Bielas and Michael Hickox
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Dirty Deeds - Part 1
By: Caroline Bielas, 8/20/2013

Real property ownership is evidenced by deeds and property ownership transfers through deeds. That much is easy to understand. Drafting property deeds is easy too. One just looks up a quit claim deed form on the internet, enters property information, slaps on $1 consideration and it’s good to go! Right? Wrong!

Improperly drafted property deeds can cause serious problems. There is a reason that drafting deeds is a legal process, it is not simply filling in blanks on a form. Drafting deeds involves making legal determination as to which type of deed to use, how property ownership will be titled between the owners, how property will pass upon the death of an owner, and other important considerations.

This blog series will look at what happens when deeds are done dirty and cheap. In our practice, we have seen clients face many unfortunate consequences as a result of doing their own deeds, using deeds from the internet, having legal services prepare deeds, having non-attorneys prepare deeds, or having deeds done by general practitioners. Consequences ranging from causing an unnecessary probate to be opened, having an unintended person become an owner to their property, causing costly property tax mistakes, to actually losing ownership of their property. This blog series will discuss four of these real life situations that we have come across in our practice as a result of poorly drafted deeds.

Dirty deeds situation #1 – the legal services "record it later” deed nightmare...

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