DEEDS: TRANSFERING TITLE TO REAL
A deed is a writing signed by one person, whereby title to
realty is transferred and conveyed from that person to another person.
Definition of Grantor: Person or persons deeding property
Definition of Grantee: Person or persons receiving a
conveyance of property.
- Types of Deeds:
- 1. Quitclaim Deed: A quitclaim deed
is a deed of conveyance that operates more in the way to release any
ownership claim in real property. It is intended to pass any title,
interest, or claim which a person may have in real property, but does not
profess that such title is valid. It contains no warranties.
It conveys only the interest, if any, a person(s) may have in real
property to another. It is typically used to clean up title problems
or is used when a conveyance is a gift or when conveying between heirs to
a piece of real property.
- 2. General Warranty Deed: A
general warranty deed is a deed of conveyance that contains one or more of
the six warranties: Covenant of Seisin (warranting I own it.),
Covenant of Right to Convey (warranting I have the right to convey it),
Covenant Against Encumbrances (warranting there are no encumbrances such
as liens, easements, leases, restrictive covenants, etc... against the
real property), Covenant of General Warranty (warranting that in the
future, I will defend you against any lawful claims and compensate for
loss resulting from a superior title), Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
(warranting you will not be disturbed in the possession or enjoyment of
the real property by one with superior title to the real property), and
Covenant of Further Assurances (warranting I will sign whatever is
necessary to perfect title in what is being purportedly conveyed).
Most general warranty deeds use the terms of conveyance, "grant,
bargain, sell, and convey" which has been defined to mean the
following four warranties are made: Covenant of Seisin, Covenant of
Special Warranty of Encumbrances, Covenant of General Warranty, and
Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment. A general warranty deed is used in most
real estate sales where the actual value of the real property is given for
- 3. Special Warranty Deed: A
special warranty deed is a deed of conveyance that contains one or more of
the six warranties, but warranties are limited to only the extent that the
loss is caused by an action of the grantor and not by the predecessors in
title. It is typically used in bank foreclosures and by land
speculators who insist on using it.
- 4. Correction Deed: A correction deed
may be any type of the above types of deeds. It is used where a deed
has been previously recorded with an error, and a new deed needs to be
recorded to correct that error.
- Types of Ownership and Categories of Estates:
- 1. Fee Simple Absolute: Ownership is
complete and of a potentially infinite duration. This is the most
complete and one of the most common forms of ownership of land.
- 2. Tenants in Common: Ownership of
land by 2 or more people who are conceived as owning an "undivided
interest" in the real property. The ownership interest may be
equal or unequal; however, there is considered to be "one unity of
possession". All owners are deemed to be in possession of the
entire estate of land and owe a fiduciary relationship to all other
owners. Absent agreement, profits are shared equally according to
ownership interest. Tenants in common may partition in kind or by
sale, lease entire property and apportion lease, sell his/her interest to
another, etc... Absent wording or statutory law, a conveyance to more
than one person is considered to be as tenants in common.
- 3. Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship:
Ownership of land by 2 or more people where upon the death of one tenant,
his/her interest passes automatically to the other tenant(s).
Possession is an undivided interest in the whole property rather than
divided interests in separate parts. Joint Tenancy is destroyed by
conveyance to a third person.
- 4. Tenancy by the Entirety:
Ownership of land by a husband and wife where the conveyance was to them
while married to each other. The interest of the husband or wife passes
automatically upon death to the other. Both spouses have equal right
to possession. Right of survivorship is unaffected by a conveyance to
a third party. Neither spouse may obtain judicial partition.
a divorce converts title to tenants in common, and a subsequent remarriage
does not restore survivorship.
- 5. Life Estate/Remainder:
Ownership of land is for your life or for the length of someone else's
life. The person or persons to receive the land upon the death of that
life have a remainder interest in the land.
- 6. Estate for a Term of Years/Remainder:
Ownership of land is for a set duration of time. The person or persons
to receive the land upon the termination of the term have a remainder
interest in the land. This type of estate is also known as a
- 7. Fee Simple Determinable: Ownership
of the land remains with a person or persons subject to a subsequent
condition occurring which will automatically cut off ownership of the
property and full ownership reverts back to the grantor. Fee Simple
Determinable use the following operative words: "during",
"until", "so long as", and "while". For
example, Jack conveys Oak Meadows to the City so long as the land is used as a
park. The City has a fee simple determinable. Jack has a
- 8. Fee Subject to a Condition Subsequent:
Ownership of land is possibly limited in duration by a future failure of a
condition to be satisfied. This condition is usually, but not always,
related to the use of the land. This type of estate uses the following
operative words: "provided that", "on condition
that", "if", "but if", and "provided
however". It does not end automatically. For example, Jack
conveys Oak Meadows to the City on the condition that it be used as a
park. The City has a fee simple subject to a condition
subsequent. Jack has a right of entry interest.
- 9. Fee Subject to an Executory Limitation:
This is the same as a fee subject to a condition subsequent except that the
possessory interest after the condition is broken is given to a third
party. However, this type of estate can easily run into the Rule
- Rule Against Perpetuities
- No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than
twenty-one (21) years after some life in being at the creation of the
interest (measuring life plus 21 years).
- Common Mistakes to Watch Out for in Deeds:
- 1. Typographical Errors in the Legal Description
- 2. Incomplete or "bad" legal descriptions
- 3. Failure to State Marital Status of Grantor(s)
- 4. Name(s) used for Grantor(s) differs from the names the property
was deeded to.
- 5. Acknowledgement Errors: Acknowledgement differ as between
indivicuals, corporations, and other entities and sometimes an incorrect
acknowledgement is used. Sometimes the acknowledgement is filled out
or only partially filled out, and sometimes the notary's commission has
expired at the time of execution.
- 6. Names of Grantee(s) misspelled, or the type of ownership conveyed
is not in accordance with grantee's wishes.
- Differences Between a Deed and an Easement:
- A deed is the conveyance of an ownership interest in land. An
easement is the conveyance of a right to use land, however, the grantee(s) still
has the ownership interest in said land.
- Conveyances of Land. See:
- Arkansas Code Annotated Sections 18-12-101 to