What does the attorney check for when doing a title examination?

The attorney examines the title to check for defects in any prior deeds, to determine all mortgages that need to be paid off, to make sure all taxes have been paid, and to make sure no other tax liens exist against the title.

What is owner's title insurance?

Owner's title insurance provides you with protection against the loss of your home caused by somebody in the future finding a defect in your title..

If a title examination is done, what is the need for title insurance?

Real estate titles have hazards that even the most competent attorney can not discover-hidden defects such as improper indexing of records, forgery of documents, unknown or missing heirs, and more.

What are some examples of title defects that would be covered by owner's title insurance?

  • Forgery
  • Fraud in connection with the execution of documents
  • Undue influence on a former owner or executor
  • False personation by those purporting to be owners of the property
  • Incorrect representation of marital status of former owners
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Wills not properly probated
  • Mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts
  • Mental incompetence of former owners which may rule a sale void
  • Conveyance by a minor or other person legally incompetent
  • Birth of heirs subsequent to the date of the will
  • Inadequate surveys
  • Incorrect legal descriptions
  • Not properly delivered deeds
  • Unsatisfied claims against your property not shown of record
  • Deeds executed under expired or false powers of attorney
  • Confusion due to similar or identical names
  • Dower, curtesy or other marital rights of spouses of former owners
  • Incorrect indexing
  • Clerical errors in recording legal documents
  • Delivery of deeds after the death of a former owner
  • Real estate tax authority errors or omissions
  • Mechanics' liens not yet of record

How is title held for married couples?

The preferred method of holding title for family members is by "joint tenancy with right of survivorship". This means that if one title holder dies, the other(s) automatically retains the entire title to the property, without the necessity of a will. You do not, however, have to be married to hold title as a joint tenant.

What other way may I hold title?

The default way of holding title in Georgia is called "tenancy in common." This means that if one person on title dies, that person's heirs get their interest in the property, not the other person(s).

I am purchasing property in Georgia and have a secured a loan. My lawyer is attending the closing-is my lender's attorney required to attend as well?

Yes. Georgia law requires that all closings on property purchased through a loan occur under the direction of an attorney who represents the lender.

Can I write a personal check for the funds needed to close?

This general answer is no, and Georgia law absolutely prohibits closing attorneys from taking more than $5,000 in personal funds. As a practical matter, most attorneys will require certified funds for any amount over $1,000.00 You will usually be able to write a personal check for any small difference under $1,000.00 that arises at the closing table.

Will I be given dollar figures in advance of closing?

Parties to a closing are often able to receive estimated funds needed for closing in the form of an advance HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The lender and closing attorney prefer that the parties review the HUD-1 well in advance of closing. However, because preparation of the HUD-1 is dependent on information being finalized and verified by many different parties (i.e. buyer, seller, agents, buyer's lender, and if applicable, seller's attorney and seller's prior lender).