March 06, 2019
More Common Issues We Find in Curing Title
In an earlier post, we detailed four of the most common issues we find when we are practicing our title curative services: errors in the public records, unknown easements, undiscovered encumbrances, and unknown liens. Today, we are here to tell you about a few more of the common issues we find when curing title.
As we said in our previous post, when we move to cure title, what we are doing is undertaking certain procedures to ensure that we solve problems that occur in the chain of ownership of title to a property; essentially we use the process to determine whether the record title for the land under consideration matches with the land’s real-life use and possession. When one of our attorneys crafts a Title Opinion that describes any unresolved items in the land’s title, then it becomes necessary to cure those items.
A significant barrier to clear title is often found in the grey-zone often encountered upon the death of a landowner. Wills, estates, and intestacy are various forms of conveyance of title to property—but they must be clear in the testator’s intent, or in the probate court’s decree on the matter. Sometimes they have not been sufficiently clear in the past, perhaps not fully legally supporting what has been done with the land in the meantime.
Another issue we encounter relatively often is found in the nature of marital interests, which vary from state to state, and particularly as a result of divorce decrees. Family courts are generally charged with requiring transferring of title via the divorce decree. The changes in title must then be properly filed of record through the appropriate records-keeping procedure; a quit claim deed must be secured from the spouse who will not be in ownership of the property, relinquishing any and all claims they may have on title. (Community property states further complicate the situation—in some cases both former spouses must execute documents of conveyance even when they have owned the property separately. This does not apply in any of our service states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Florida, however, all of which are equitable distribution states.) It is not uncommon for some element of this process to go awry.
A lot can go wrong in the world of property title. In order to back up our title curative services, we also provide title insurance here at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. When you’re purchasing a new home, the policies we connect you with provide peace of mind that your new property will not bring along any nasty surprises. Whether you live in Providence, Rhode Island; Cambridge, Massachusetts; or Boca Raton, Florida, feel free to contact us for more information.