Regardless of the type of interest, it’s absolutely crucial to record your client’s newly acquired real property interest. By recording the transfer, grantees, buyers, and lenders are protected against both future purchasers for value and unknown prior interests in the same property. Additionally, title insurance companies generally will only insure an interest if it’s recorded. These benefits may not attach, however, if the recordation—or the recorded instrument itself—was defective.
As a graduation present, your client purchases her son a home. Although the plan was for the son to live there alone, the client and her son take title as joint tenants. Years later, your client remarries and asks you to convey her interest in the house to her new husband’s children on her death. What do you do? Whatever instrument you choose, be sure to sever the joint tenancy!
You buy a house and then discover that the seller didn’t disclose a material fact about the property—say, the sewage system you thought was owned by the city was actually owned by 13 different residents in the area, and you’re now on the hook for maintenance costs. Compounding matters, the house’s value has dropped significantly since you bought it. What do you do? Try to rescind the sale contract.