Chapter II - Documents You Should Understand Page 02
There are three kinds of deeds, viz.: General warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, and quit-claim deeds.
The general warranty deed, if it can be had, is the one every purchaser should get.
In the general warranty deed the grantor agrees for himself, "his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns," that at the time of making the deed he is lawfully in possession, "seized" is the legal term, of the estate described in the deed, that it is free from all incumbrance, and that he will warrant and defend the grantee and his heirs and assigns against all claims whatsoever.
In the quit-claim deed the grantor conveys to the purchaser his interest in or right to the property under consideration.
The quit-claim grantor does not guarantee the title to the property, nor warrant the grantee against any other claims. He simply, by the deed, quits his claim to the property.
The special warranty deed covenants and warrants only against the acts of the grantor and those claiming title under him.
MAKING A DEED
After a deed is properly drawn, it is ready to be signed, sealed, and delivered to the grantee.
If the wife of the grantor is to sign, her name should follow that of her husband.
If one or both cannot write, the signature can be made in this way:
His George X Jones. Mark.
In some states one or more witnesses are required to the signature of the grantor; in others, witnesses are not necessary, except where a "mark" is made.
An important part of a deed is the Acknowledgment. This is the act of acknowledging before a notary public, justice or other official properly qualified to administer an oath, that the signatures are genuine and made voluntarily.
The acknowledgment having been taken, the official stamps the paper with his seal and signs it.
In some states the law requires that a wax or paper seal be attached to the paper, while in others a circular scroll, made with the pen, with the letters "L.S." in the center answer the purpose.
When the foregoing essentials are complied with the deed must be delivered to the grantee. The delivery is essential, for without it the deed is of no value, even though every other requisite be complied with.
A deed may be made for land on which full payment has already been acknowledged, but if the grantor dies before the deed is delivered, then the deed has no legal value.
A deed obtained by fraud, deceit or compulsion is void.
As soon as possible after the grantee has received the deed, he should have it recorded.
In every county in the different states there is an officer, known as register or recorder, whose duty it is to enter in regular folios, or books, a copy of every deed or mortgage presented to him. The document then becomes a part of the county records.
The grantee must pay the recording fees.
Anyone, on paying the fee for copying and certifying, can obtain a copy of any document that has been recorded in a register's office.
If an original deed is lost, the certified copy of the register has all the legality of the original.
All deeds and other papers of value should be carefully kept, so that they may be available, if needed.
A small safe deposit box with a company that keeps such spaces for rent, is often a wise investment.
Keep all related papers in one package or envelope.
If there is one lawyer who attends to all your legal business, he will be a good custodian of all papers of record, for he usually has a fireproof safe.