You may not have been aware of this, but sixty-six percent of Americans have no estate plan in place. This is a glaring problem, as many people feel that estate planning is an important thing to do.
When you hire an estate planning lawyer, one of the first things they may suggest is to perform a title search on your house. This is a smart move, as problems can pop up with property titles all the time.
If you would like to know what issues you might see and how a lawyer can help with title problem resolutions, then all you need to do is keep reading.
Common Property Title Issues
The problems that can creep up with property titles can sound incredibly scary. Luckily, a good lawyer will be able to identify many of these problems via a title search and resolve them easily.
Below, we have identified a few of the most common issues with property titles. Don’t assume you are immune to any of these – your property could have a history that you know nothing about.
If you would like to avoid these common problems, then you should consider homeowner’s title insurance. This gives you an extra layer of protection in case any property title issues come up.
One of the biggest problems that you could encounter is liens. This is when an entity is given the right to keep possession of someone’s property until a debt is paid off.
There are three main types of liens– property, mechanics, and judgment. These liens can be placed for different purposes. It’s important to be aware of any liens you might have.
Each lien will prevent you from selling your home or transferring ownership until the debt has been paid. It also prevents the title from being transferred, which can complicate things when planning how your estate will be divided.
If your property is on a condo, co-op, or part of a homeowner’s association, then legal actions against it are a common problem you might face. Legal actions can be anything from construction without the needed permits or a dispute against a board of homeowners.
A lawsuit isn’t necessarily a showstopper when it comes to arranging the things that you need to do, but it can make the process more complicated.
If you’re looking to make things easier on whatever process you’re completing, double-check to make sure no legal action is being brought against one of your properties.
With any property, you’re bound to experience disagreements over where the property line actually lies and who a section of land belongs to. You’ll especially run into this issue if you’re trying to do something such as cut down a tree or build a fence.
Luckily, this issue is a fairly easy one to fix. All you need to do is order a boundary survey to determine where the property line is.
Even then, you may still run into a few boundary challenges. However, having a property survey will head off the worst possible problems.
Heirs and Wills
This is another situation that shows the importance of title insurance.
A title search might reveal heirs who were previously unknown or a new will that could make ownership of the house difficult. Sometimes the will didn’t make it through probate before then. Sometimes the heir misunderstood the deceased one’s wishes.
No matter what the circumstances are, that instantly complicates your situation. If you don’t have a homeowner’s title insurance policy, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a difficult legal battle.
An easement is a right to use, come onto, or cross a property that doesn’t belong to you. If you have an attorney do a title search, you might discover that the homeowner before you had an easement with someone else. Easements are typically found on your public title record.
Having an easement might make building on or otherwise changing your property difficult. It can also be difficult if you no longer want people to cross your land.
Another, slightly less common problem, is that you might need an easement for a neighbor’s property that had been foreclosed or otherwise extinguished.
Sometimes, despite all efforts to make sure things go smoothly, errors with the paperwork happen in one way or another. Humans make mistakes.
The clerical error can be any number of things. Many times, part of a deed’s documentation is simply missing. It could also be something such as the fee wasn’t paid, or the deed was recorded outside of the county.
You should consider having an owner’s policy and title insurance. Those two things will prevent serious financial damage. It’ll also ensure the legal costs of fixing up the mistakes are covered.
How an Attorney Can Help
When you hire an estate planning attorney, if they do suggest performing a title search, they will be able to review documents connected to the property. This will allow them to identify any issues connected to the title.
An attorney will likely be able to help you settle these issues, whether it’s finding a boundary line or re-filing the necessary paperwork.
Hiring an attorney to help you with your property is one of the best things you can do. They’ll save you time and effort to make sure you have a clean title.
Reach Out to Rhodes Law Firm
Now that you’ve learned all you need to know about property title issues and how attorneys can help you, you’re ready to make sure there are no issues with your own title.
Where better to find an attorney than Rhodes law firm? We’re experienced with all kinds of law from estate planning to planning for taking care of someone with special needs.
If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, simply reach out to us here.
Don’t wait- contact us today to make sure there are no issues with your property title!