Should You Get A Deed Attorney?

Do you need to create or transfer a deed? Hire a qualified deed attorney to make the process go as smoothly as possible initially and in the future.

A deed is a legal document. It records the ownership of certain property. A deed is also used to transfer property from one owner to another. That can be done in various ways, such as by sale, personal agreement of trade between two parties, or inheritance when the current owner of a certain property passes away. Sometimes deeds are used to transfer ownership of items like vehicles, but deeds are most often associated with homes and other real estate.

If you are currently involved in a transfer of property or expect to be soon, you may wonder if you need legal help to transfer a deed. The answer is an attorney is typically not legally required to transfer a deed from one party to another. However, having a deed attorney is often beneficial from legal and financial standpoints. The information provided below can help you better understand the role of a deed attorney and why hiring one is often quite helpful.

What is a Deed Attorney?

Property deeds appear quite simple at face value. Each piece of real estate in the United States has a property deed indicating who owns it. When a deed is transferred to a new owner, it must contain certain data. That data includes:

  • Size and Scope of the Land, Often Including Structures on It

  • Location of the Land

  • Name and Signature of the Grantor (Seller, Deceased Landowner Etc.)

  • Identifying Information About the Grantee (New Property Owner)

The basic deed information above is often easy to record. Therefore, many landowners and property buyers or beneficiaries think they can handle deed transfers themselves. However, deeds often come with additional complications, such as assurances or conditions associated with the property transfers. Also, each U.S. state has different property transference regulations. That can make property transfers in certain states more complicated.

A deed attorney is an attorney who specializes in deed transfers. He or she is licensed in the state where his or her practice is located. Therefore, he or she has the required knowledge and is experienced in following the property laws in that state. A deed attorney is also familiar with other documents required for property transfers. Additionally, the attorney is capable of thoroughly researching the background of a property to identify any underlying issues that may impede the property transference. 

What Are the Types of Deeds and Deed Attorneys Available?

Deed attorneys are also called property transfer attorneys. They sometimes practice multiple types of law, but often they specialize specifically in handling deeds. Some property transfer attorneys focus on certain types of deed transfers as well. The following are common deed types and legal specializations:

  • General warranty deeds certify lands are free of debts or liens and that the sellers have the right to transfer ownership legally. Therefore, such deeds offer high levels of buyer protection.

  • Special warranty deeds are like general warranty deeds. The primary difference is special warranty deeds only guarantee no liens or other issues were attached to properties while their deed grantors owned them. No such promises are made regarding what may have taken place prior to those periods of ownership.

  • Bargain and sale deed transfers make no claims that properties are free of current or old encumbrances at all. Therefore, grantees can encounter many future problems due to lack of protection from such issues.

  • Quitclaim deed transfers involve grantors transferring their interests in specific properties if those interests exist. They do not guarantee grantees the ability to take full ownership of the properties involved. Quitclaim deeds are uncommon. The main purpose of them is to allow ownership transfers between spouses or other parties who already have full knowledge of the histories of the involved properties.

When Do You Need a Deed Attorney?

It is a good idea to hire a deed attorney in many situations, such as during a divorce. A deed attorney is a third party who can help you and your spouse settle a deed transfer quickly and without legal errors. Other situations in which the advice of a trained deed attorney is either necessary or extremely helpful include:

  • Transferring a Deed to a Corporation

  • Moving a Deed to a Trust

  • Filing a Legal Correction to an Existing Deed

  • Transferring a Deed Within a Family

  • Gifting Real Estate to a Non-Family Member

  • Adding or Removing Deed Holder Names (Such as After Marriage)

What Are Some Top Websites Where You Can Find Deed Attorneys and Assistance?

Finding a deed attorney is easy. However, locating the right one to suit your needs is sometimes a bit complicated. You can make the process easier by using a certain reputable website to find a qualified deed attorney. Some websites also have other tools you can use to make a deed transfer easier. Here is a brief overview of some top websites to use:

  • LegalShield is a subscription-based service that connects users with lawyers throughout the United States. It offers services for individuals and businesses, including will planning, deed transfer consultation, and family law assistance. Memberships start at $24.95 per month. Additional legal services are available for added fees. 

  • LegalNature is a website that allows users to access, create, and edit legal documents. Those documents include property deeds and mortgage agreements. Subscriptions start at $13.95 per month when paid on an annual basis.

  • Nolo has been publishing legal advice since 1971. Its website includes many paid and free services, including access to legal articles. Its “Find a Lawyer” tool is free to use.

  • BizCounsel is a legal service specifically for businesses. It provides legal assistance for various business needs, including deed transfers and legal document drafting.

  • LegalMatch matches cases to qualified lawyers in specific geographic locations. Its database of lawyers includes specialists in wills, family law, real estate, and more.

How Much Do Deed Attorneys Cost?

The cost for a deed attorney varies throughout the United States. On average, you can expect to pay $150 to $400 per hour if the attorney charges an hourly rate. Flat fees for deed creation typically start at approximately $175. However, the scope of the work involved impacts the timetable and the cost. The nature of the situation may also impact the cost. For example, adding a spouse's name to a deed is typically less complicated than transferring a deed via a property sale.