My brother is a lawyer. It can be very expensive to talk to him—he charges me when he says “Hello”—and it can get pricey to hire him to defend you in a court of law.
Most people think buying land from the family is safe. It’s been in the family, you know who’s owned it. But from my experience in the title and abstract business, a deed transferred between relations can be riskier as far as title claim is concerned. You never know when a lost heir is going to show up at a family reunion to claim his part of the inherited estate. That’s where sibling rivalry can turn ugly.
Legal fees are a lot cheaper on title defense if they’re paid in advance through a title insurance policy. Then you don’t have to worry about what illegitimate claim turned up at a family reunion for a piece of the pie. You still have to defend your claim, but you can rely on your policy to pay for litigation fees.
Title insurance prepays your court costs should a challenge to your ownership arise. The policy can’t prevent a claim, but it helps defray the financial burden of defense.