Frequently Asked Questions
The American Bar Association provides an excellent resource for understanding different practice areas and the matters associated. These questions and answers were developed by the ABA to help simplify and explain common questions of
real estate law.
What is a title examination or abstract?
A title examination is a study of the records related to the ownership history of the property and sometimes
of other matters related to ownership interests in the property. An abstract of title is a collection of public records relating to the ownership of a parcel of real estate. During the examination a title examiner reviews the applicable title information to determine who owns the lands, whether there are any defects in or claims against the ownership and whether any action is needed to make sure the purchaser obtains good record title to the property at closing. It is essential to determine clear title in order to allow the purchaser to buy
and to own the property with no fear of legal challenges to ownership.
What is title insurance, and why is it needed?
A title insurance policy insures the status of title in the name of the owner of the policy. Title insurance policies are issued by title insurance companies. The title company contracts with the insured person
named in the policy to protect against financial loss related to the title, as well as the cost of defending
the title in court. The title company searches and examines documents related to the ownership of and
items affecting the property prior to issuing a policy. It provides a source of indemnification to the named insured if he or she is damaged by a negligent or bad title search or examination and also from hidden defects that would not be discovered in a title search. For instance, a title defect resulting from a forgery would not be revealed in a search or examination of the public records but would be covered by the title insurance policy.
What are the various ways title can be held?
It is important to determine all parties interested in taking title and how to format the title. Sole owners,
joint ownership with right of survivorship, tenants by the entirety, tenants in common, and title-holding
entities are just a few ways to convey and hold title. Your unique circumstances and desires allow us
to better determine what is the most beneficial way to pass title.