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29 Cards in this Set

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Define Deed.
An instrument used to transfer title to real property
What are the 2 types of deeds we learned about?
Warranty Deed & Quitclaim Deed
What is a warranty deed?
Contains personal covenants of the grantor relating to the nature of the estate conveyed and usually covenanting that the grantor has an indefeasible estate in fee simple
What is a quitclaim deed?
They purport transfer only such interest as the grantor may have and usually exclude any implication that he has a good title or even any title at all. They are just as effective as warranty deeds
What are the requirements for a valid deed?
a. Identify the parties
i.When a deed with the name of the grantee in blank is delivered by the grantor with the intention that title shall vest in the person to whom the deed is delivered, and that person is expressly authorized at the time of delivery to insert his or any other name as grantee, title passes with the delivery.
ii.Other courts say the deed is void until a grantee’s name is actually inserted. But, those courts will say that is it is valid once the name is written in. Also, if the grantor dies before the name is filled in, courts still hold it valid on the ground that the grantee’s agency was coupled with an interest.
iii.Non-party: the general rule is that no interest may be given to a stranger to the title.
b. Describe the land
c. Some words indicating a present intent to convey
d. Grantor’s sig.
i.This is very liberal.. just about anything will do (even Dad). Though he suggests you make sure you do the right way
What are some non-essential components of a deed?
a. Consideration: needed for a valid K, but not deed. However the absence of consideration in the deed could have consequences:
i.A donee doesn’t share the title protection accorded to the bona fide purchaser.
ii.The measurement of damages for breach of the grantor’s covenants will likely be zero.
iii.So, it is best to list the consideration.
b. Recordation: an unrecorded deed is fully effective and binding. However, if not recorded there isn’t notice. If no notice, then you can have adverse title claims by a bona fide purchaser.
c. Acknowledgements: a notary might be required.
d. Witnesses: might be needed pending state law.
e. Seal: only needed in a few states
List the formal parts of a deed and describe them.
a. Premises: includes the parties’ names, the recitation of consideration, a description of land, and the granting clause.
b. Habendum clause (translated means “to have and to hold”): it follows and limits the estate being granted (if it is anything less then a FSA).
c. Reddendum clause: would follow if the grantor wanted to reserve of some part of the interest conveyed.
d. Warranties of title: a formal reference to the execution and date, and the sig lines.
e. Certificate of acknowledgement by a notary if required by the state
What will a court do when a deed is patently ambiguous?
When a deed is patently ambiguous, the court must attempt to determine the intent of the parties from the language of the deed and from the surrounding circumstances
What will a court do when there is doubt about whether deed was supposed to transfer fee simple or a lesser interest?
When there is doubt as to whether the parties intended that a deed transfer a fee simple or a lesser interest in land that doubt should be resolved in favor of the grantee and the greater estate should pass
When there is no inconsistency on face of deed, can parties use parol evidence to show what was intended to be conveyed?
No. parol evidence isn't admissible to show parties intended to convey either less, more or different ground from what was described.
What does the Court view as the hierarchy of parts of the deed and intent?
i.First and foremost: the intention of the grantor shall be ascertained if possible by giving to every word of the deed its appropriate meaning, and by enforcing that intention regardless of the formal divisions of the instrument.
ii.if there is a conflict between the granting clause and other parts of the deed, the estate conveyed in the granting clause will control
Explain the execution of a deed - what were the differences at common law?
a. At CL the seal was the very essence of the deed, and its omission was fatal to the conveyance.
b. Today, the signature of the grantor, or of someone acting on his behalf in a manner authorized by law, is required.
c. Attestation: refers to the practice of having witnesses sing the deed as a means of assuring it authenticity. States vary whether this is needed.
d. Acknowledgment: attestation by a public officer, usually a notary
Define escrow.
It involves the deposit of a deed or other document with a third party to be held by the latter pending performance of certain conditions. When those conditions are met, the 3rd party is authorized to deliver the deed. This is typically referred to as a “deed and money escrow.”
Name and explain the 2 different types of escrow that we talked about.
i.Deed in money escrow: pg 1031: involves conditions relating to title. This was found in Clevenger.
ii.Money Lender’s Escrow: pg 1032: involves a deposit of the proceeds of a mortgage loan with a third party to be disbursed as directed when satisfactory evidence has been furnished showing the mortgage to be a valid first lien
When does the deed in escrow take effect?
Escrow will have no effect as a conveyance, and no estate will pass until the event has happened and the second delivery has been made, or at least until the grantee has become absolutely entitle to such delivery
Explain the qualifications to which the deed in escrow taking effect rule is subject to such that where the condition has been fully performed and the deed, delivered by escrowee, will relate back and take effect at time of its original deposit as escrow.
1. Death of Grantor: grantor dies before the condition is performed, before the relating back doctrine, the deed could not be delivered, but with it, the deed is operative at the time it was deposited (relate back to the date of deposit).
2. Dower of grantor’s widow: used to protect the grantee against claims of dower by the grantor’s widow.
3. Incompetence of grantor: effectuates the escrow transaction where eth grantor becomes incompetent before the condition has been performed.
4. Death of Grantee: if dies before condition, the condition can still be performed and the grantee’s heirs get the land.
5. Conveyance by grantor to a third party: will protect the title of the grantee under the deed previously deposited. However, if the 3rd party is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice, the doctrine will not be applied
What happens if delivery of a deed in escrow occurs before conditions are met?
Bonus points: name the case
A deed placed in escrow to be delivered to a grantee upon the performance of certain conditions will not be valid for any purpose until the condition upon which it is to be delivered to the grantee met, even though a claimant hereunder was an innocent purchaser for value

Clevenger v. Moore
What is a description of land?
a description in words deemed legally sufficient to late and identify a particular parcel of land
What are the C/L and modern approaches to the methods of describing land?
A deed must identify the land to be conveyed in sufficient detail that it can be distinguished from all parcels.
1. CL: this was strictly enforced, and a conveyance of land that just said “Jones Farm” was inadequate because the property couldn’t be located by using the deed language.
2. Modern: more willing to admit extrinsic evidence to clarify ambiguous description. However, the idea that the deed must contain complete description retains much vitality
Explain the metes and bounds method of describing land.
This is the oldest know way to describe land. Literally it means the measurements and boundaries of a tract of land.
a.How it works:
1.It must begin at some known point that can readily be identified.
2.The description must close; that is, if the courses and distances of the description is followed step by step from corner to corner, one must come back to the place of beginning.
b.Most reliable to least reliable starting points:
1.Natural monuments
2.Artificial monuments
3.Adjacent tracts or boundaries
4.Courses or directions
6.Quantity or area
7.Place names
c. Location of line with monuments: Absent an expressed contrary intent in a deed, a conveyance of land abutting a road, highway, alley, or other way (i.e., monument), is presumed to take the fee to the center line of the way or monument
Explain the Government Survey (aka Rectangular system) method of describing land.
Essentially a series of rectangles.
How it works:
1.System is based on a national network of survey lines: prinicipal meridian lines (run north and south) and base lines (run east to west).
2.Using locations where the lines intersect as starting points, land is divided into squares called townships (measuring 6x6 miles; and contain 36 square miles).
3.Each township is then divided into 36 squared called sections (containing one square mile).
Explain the plat (subdivision map) system of describing land.
Most urban and suburban areas use this method.
How it works:
1.It is simply a map depicting lots in a new subdivision.
2.The plat depicts the location and dimensions of each lot, together with planned streets and other improvements.
3.Each lot in the subdivision is assigned a number.
4.The plat also includes information that allows the subdivision as a whole to be located, usually be referencing an external monument or the government survey system.
5.Once the plat is approved by the local planning commission, it is recorded in the official land records.
6.After all the above occurs, each lot can be conveyed using a brief description that incorporated the plat reference
What are the general principles behind the delivery of a deed?
a. A deed is not effective until it is delivered. An undelivered deed is void.
b. The grantor must manifest by words of action an intent that the deed be immediately effective to transfer an interest in land to the grantee.
c.Delivery by word alone is possible.
d. If grantor intends the deed to take effect upon death, no delivery has occurred
Under what circumstances can a deed be presumed delivered?
i.The deed is recorded
ii.The deed is given to a third person who gives it to the intended party
iii.Father gives to infant
When the grantor leaves a deed in a box (?), this problematic "delivery" will not allow for a valid deed unless what?
i.Where the grantee is a close relative, on theory that conveyance is consistent with prudent estate planning.
ii.If there is a pubic statement, such as “I want B to own Brownacre.”
What is the deal with conditional deliveries?
There cannot be a conditional delivery. The delivery to the grantee of a deed absolute on its face will pass complete title to him regardless of any condition or contingency on which its operative effect is made to depend
Delivery to a 3rd party?
What is the effect of a forgery on a deed?
A forged deed is void. It conveys nothing to the grantee or subsequent grantees, including later bfp's
What is the effect of fraud in a deed?
A deed induced by the grantee's (one taking land) fraud is voidable in an action brought by the true owner.
3rd party BFP: When 1 of 2 innocent parties must incur a loss due to a 3rd party's fraud, courts usually allocate the loss to the 3rd party who was in teh best position to avoid the loss in the first place
(i.e. a factual situation of who should have checked what)