Here are some key terms specifically used when dealing with property title:
•Deed: A formal written document that transfers a title to a new owner and serves as proof of ownership. Although often used interchangeably with “title,” the term “deed” refers to a physical document.
•Heir: A person who, either through a will or through intestacy, has a legal claim to a deceased person’s property.
•Intestacy: State law governing distribution of the property of a person who dies without a will.
•Lien: A legal claim against a property that functions as collateral for debt.
•Personal representative: The modern label for the person responsible for settling an estate and carrying out the provisions of a will, if one exists. It encompasses the terms “executor”/“executrix,” formerly used when there was a will, and “administrator”/“administratrix,” which were used when there was not.
•Probate: The legal process of administering an estate after someone dies. Legally, the term “probate”
applies only to estates that involve a will, and the term “estate administration” applies to those without one.
•Record owner: A person or other legal entity named on the deed recorded with the Department of Records.
•Title: The legal right to ownership of a property.
If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.
Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.