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Real Estate: Ten Good Reasons to Prepare a Deed

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | July 27, 2008

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

Here are ten objectives that can accomplished by preparing, delivering and recording a deed. Of course, consult a lawyer when you do. Deeds can be employed:

1. To change title originally held by unmarried couples after marriage to Tenancy by the Entireties. This means that the husband and wife hold title as a unified entity and the property cannot be treated as the sole property of one or the other. This protects the property from future liens against one spouse.

2. To confirm title acquired by automatic succession. If an owner of a property held by joint tenancy with right of survivorship or by tenancy by the entireties dies, the surviving owner can confirm for the record that he or she is now sole owner of the property.When a tenant in common dies, his or her share passes automatically to his or her heirs at law.

3. To confirm ownership acquired through a decedents estate, where there was no executor’s or administrator’s deed recorded. Title is often passed directly to heirs or devisees under a will through filing of a “Schedule B” with the Recorder of Deeds (now Department of Real Estate in Allegheny County). While this is valid passage of title, the information on this document may be incomplete or even incorrect. A deed of confirmation can be used to clarify information such as the correct name and address of the current owner. Sometimes the tax assessor may continue to carry the name and address of the decedent on the assessment rolls, causing tax bills to be sent to the wrong address.

4. To confirm a change in the property description. This can occur after a new survey or by a re-subdivision.

5. To create ownership by a general partnership. For example, real estate becomes partnership property when conveyed to A and B trading as X, a general partnership.

6. To transfer the land to a trust.

7. To create automatic succession without the necessity of a will, through joint ownership with right of survivorship.

8. To correct an error in a name, a property description or any other detail in a prior recorded deed.

9. To convey a property to a mortgage holder to satisfy the debt. A deed in lieu of foreclosure is sometimes used when the owner has little or no equity in the property and does not wish to oppose the foreclosure.

10. Transfer from a principal to an agent and back again.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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