Who needs a deed among family members? The family members do!! Good deeds support good relations among kin, especially when inheritance gets involved.
When property changes hands from branch to branch on the family tree, keep the paperwork in order and maintain title insurance so that ownership rights can be properly recognized and defended should a dispute arise. Don’t take shortcuts just because it’s family—don’t take shortcuts because it IS family!!
A major source of title challenges is from family transactions in real estate.
Even if the old homestead has been in the family for fifty years, property disputes can happen at any time. Family disputes tend to be the biggest and most emotional. When there’s a lot of emotion, there’s no rational—and it’s costly! Want to help an attorney pay off his college loan, pay for litigation on a family dispute. When somebody says “I’m fighting this for the principal of the matter,” they usually mean: “For all the principal in your bank account!”
It’s expensive to be totally right!! Have you hired a lawyer lately? Remember, if a person—family member or otherwise—files a claim against your property, YOU have to pay for the legal defense of your real estate rights. Title insurance covers those court costs and provides the legal representation.
Whether Uncle Elmer thought your daddy left the place to him, or Cousin Jesse claims your septic tank is on her side next door, a title insurance policy provides the financial and legal means to assert your ownership rights.
As of March 2011, a lot of companies started issuing the new and improved title insurance forms which allowed for those who inherit property to also inherit the title insurance. But any policy issued without the updated forms is not assumable to heirs; therefore, even though granddaddy had coverage, it doesn’t mean you do.
Don’t know if your inherited property came with title insurance? Land Title of America, Inc. will be glad to check—it’s a free service—just stop by our office located on U.S. Highway 1 South in St. Augustine (in the Lewis Point Plaza) or give us a call:
Land Title of America, Inc.
2495 U.S. Highway 1 South
St. Augustine, Florida