Pitfalls of failing to record real estate title

Don't let property get stolen from under your nose

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A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a reader who thought she was given title to a valuable lot worth several hundred thousand dollars by her late father before he died. But the recorded title evidence shows he died while still owning that lot. Even worse, her father died "intestate," without a written will. The result is she inherits only one-third of that lot with her two siblings after the estate goes through probate court costs and delays. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. A simple recorded quit claim deed for that lot from the father to his daughter would have avoided the difficulty. VERBAL TITLE TRANSFERS ARE WORTHLESS. Amazingly, many otherwise very smart property owners don't realize virtually everything affecting real estate titles must be in writing to be legally enforceable. The legal reason is the Statute of Frauds, which dates back to our common law heritage, requires written real estate conveyances to prevent fraud and misunderstandings. Verbal real estate g...