Masks, sanitizers and quarantines, these are a few of my favorite Covid things. Okay, it’s not the best Xmas carol but it is current.

I had a client call me the other day about conveying property and she wanted to know what type of deed to use. After I answered her question I got to thinking that this wasn’t the first call I’ve had over the years about this topic. Makes a good idea for this newsletter.

A general warranty deed is where the grantor (seller) guarantees to the grantee (buyer) that he owns and holds clear title to the property being conveyed and will defend any claim made against it. This deed protects the grantee against title defects arising at any point in time going back to the property’s origins. The cost of defending the title is on the grantor.

A special warranty deed is where the grantor warrants that he owns and can sell the property and has incurred no encumbrances affecting its title during the grantor’s ownership. The cost of defending the title is on the grantee for any title defects that existed prior to the grantor taking title to the property that was sold to the grantee. This deed provides narrow protection for the grantee.

A quit claim deed conveys a person’s interest in property without having to state the nature of his interest or right and it contains no warranties as to ownership. 

A transfer on death deed (TOD) is where the current owner records this deed  designating one or more persons as a grantee/beneficiary. When he passes away and still owns the property, the grantee/beneficiary automatically becomes owner of the property. Title is conveyed by recording the owner’s death certificate with the register of deeds. As a result, probate is avoided.

The trustee’s or conservator’s deed is pretty obvious. Either deed could be in the form of a warranty deed, special warranty deed or quit claim deed. With respect to a conservator’s deed, this conveyance is monitored by the court.

A word to the wise. There is a reason God created title companies. Don’t be afraid to spend a couple of hundred bucks to protect yourself. And don’t do oral sales of property. Pursuant to the statute of frauds they are not enforceable in court. So get it in writing.

I want to wish all of you a healthy Merry Christmas. For this year instead of the usual lump of coal I gave bottles of hand sanitizer to my staff. They couldn’t thank me enough. They are so lucky to have me.



                            “Old age is fifteen years older than I am.”

                                       -Oliver Wendell Holmes-

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