November 27, 2018
Just a Stack of Paper?—What is an Abstract of Title?
One of the many services we offer is the production of an Abstract of Title. Many clients find themselves curious about what exactly what an Abstract is.
When looking to the various sources of legitimization of title in a piece of property—whether that’s in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Florida—we seek to provide the bona fides necessary to ensure that an underwriter feels secure in providing the monetary backing to a Title Insurance Policy.
In order to do so, they require an Abstract. It’s the culminating document—along with our provision of an Opinion of Title—ensuring that the title to the parcel of land is relatively (if not completely) clear of defects. It summarizes a history of the parcel of property, considered through the lens of ownership and conveyance. The Abstract needs to include things like:
- The initial/original grant;
- All subsequent encumbrances, such as court litigations, tax sales, liens;
- All subsequent conveyances, proven by documents including deeds, mortgages, probate records, wills;
- Any other official public records, to the extent they are available, germane to the above.
While Abstracts can at times be conducted by highly-skilled non-attorneys—which is in part why some of the members of our staff are not doctors of jurisprudence—an opinion on a legal matter is considered the practice of law in nearly every US jurisdiction.
The Opinion of Title is something we produce after a thorough and comprehensive consideration of the elements available in the Abstract of Title. It is the written form of our attorney’s professional and experienced opinion as to the legitimacy of the vesting of title in the property’s previous owners—which is also known as the chain of title.
The Abstracts of Title, and accompanying Opinions of Title, that we produce at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. are top-notch. They are undergirded by two decades of experience in property law. Contact us to ensure your property transaction is accompanied by the highest available quality in assurance of lack of defect.