The Importance of a Corrective Deed to Cure Defects
When you are a property owner, whether for personal or business reasons, the deed to your property is the most important piece of paper you have next to the title. The deed transferred legal title of the property from the previous business or person to you, and it must be accurate. While some small mistakes will not invalidate the deed, defects and mistakes on this paperwork can cause you significant legal trouble in the future – particularly when it comes time to prove your right to the property or sell. If you believe there is something wrong with your deed, do not hesitate to call Florida real estate attorney Larry E. Bray for answers to your questions and help fixing the problem.
Mistake vs. Defect
If something is wrong with the deed to your property, you first need to determine whether it is a mistake or a defect. The difference could mean something is a harmless error or the deed failed to actually pass title of the property to you.
A mistake is something incorrectly labelled or described on the deed. Every deed has a legal description of the land that includes acreage, distances, and angles. It is common for this description to have small mistakes. If the overall property is described, a small error is often harmless.
A defect could mean the deed was not properly created or executed. There are many ways for the deed to be defective, including:
- Lacking witnesses;
- Lacking a notary seal;
- An incomplete or no legal description of the property;
- Failure to obtain permission from the grantor’s spouse;
- Lack of acknowledgement; or
- Lack of constructive notice.
Florida law has a way of fixing some defective deeds overtime. If your deed was missing a witness or had a defective acknowledgement, Florida laws F.S. §95.231 and F.S. §694.08 cure these problems after 5 years or 7 years of the date of recording the deed. However, neither of these laws fix a lack of acknowledgement or void acknowledgement.
Both of these statutes have other specific elements that must be met in order to cure the defects of your deed over time. You should speak with an attorney as soon as you know there may be a problem with your deed to see if these statutes apply or if you need a corrective deed.
A Corrective Deed
When your deed has a defect and there is an issue with your title to the property, you can use a corrective deed to fix this error. This corrective deed cannot pass title of the property on its own, but it adds information to the record to complete the passage of title from the grantor to you. If your deed simply has a harmless mistake, you should not use a corrective deed.
This deed cannot be different from the previous transaction. It cannot add new grantees – meaning it cannot give the property to you and a sibling or business partner instead of just you – or add additional land that was intended to be part of the first sale or gift. The original grantor, grantee(s), and property in a corrective deed should all be the same as what was intended in the original document.
A corrective deed has execution requirements just like any deed. It must be signed by the original grantor with witnesses and re-acknowledged. You cannot simply fix the error on the paperwork and re-record the deed yourself.
Contact Us For Help
If you noticed something is wrong with your deed or you are involved in a property dispute, call the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray in West Palm Beach as soon as possible. We will answer all of your questions and determine if the property was legally transferred to you. If there was a mistake or a defect, we can determine the best course of action.