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Who’s Taking Title? …Confessions of a Title Processor

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A few months ago, we at Title Security decided to start providing free classes to local real estate professionals. Realtors, lenders, real estate attorneys, insurance reps, etc. have been invited to participate in this educational opportunity… if you haven’t attended at least one class, you may be missing out on very useful (and free) information.

Taking TitleThis month’s topic was, “Title 102: Who’s Taking Title?”  The idea sprung up from our very first class, which was a brief overview of title insurance. After receiving feedback and brainstorming with some attendees, we decided that the most beneficial class to offer would be a detailed discussion on the different ways buyers can take title.

Donna Lee, a representative from Fidelity National Title Group was our guest speaker. After working for an underwriter for more than 30 years, she is an excellent resource when it comes to title issues. We found it imperative that she be a part of the class because of the professionalism and knowledge she would bring to the table, literally. So if you missed this class, don’t fret! Here’s a little recap of what we went over…

  • Power of Attorney is often used in closings. Pay attention to what Power of Attorney your clients are using and immediately notify your title agent so they can property review the document and prepare for closing.
  • There are two main types of trusts; active and passive (or dry) trusts. Active Trusts give trustees specific powers, in this case to sell and distribute proceeds in the closing of property. Passive Trusts do not give trustees active duty to perform actions on behalf of the trust.
  •  In most cases, your title agent will need a copy of your client’s trust to ensure the trustee has the powers to execute closing documents. Stress to our clients that this is strictly for closing purposes and their personal information included in the trust will remain private.
  • Joint Tenancy With Rights Of Survivorship is ownership where persons concurrently hold title to real property. Time, title, interest, and possession are all required to take title in this manner, as well as executing the deed with the proper survivorship language.
  • Tenancy In Common is a co-ownership with no right of survivorship. A tenant’s interest passes to their heirs in the event of a death, not the other tenant in common.
  • Estates By The Entirety is recognized in Florida as a form of co-ownership created by husband and wife. In the event of a spouse’s death, the surviving spouse will hold the entire estate.
  • Common Law marriages and Same-Sex marriages and unions are not recognized in Florida as automatically creating Estates By The Entirety. Be sure to instruct your clients properly in regard to taking title and ensuring their property is held according to their needs.

Fidelity-National-Title-GroupThis is only a brief overview of the key points that Donna discussed. Our office has all of the handouts that go into more detail and examples that will help you iron out title issues before they start. For a copy of the handouts, call us at 727-321-7678 or email me at Christina@titlesecurity.net.

Remember, if you have any questions regarding how your buyers should take title, specific trusts, Power of Attorneys, etc. please feel free to reach out to us! We want to make sure that you are properly prepared for answering your clients’ questions and WOW them with your extensive title knowledge!



Author: ctbarron01

I'm a journalism major at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. I love to read and eat home cooked meals.

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