A Deed Is Not Title

Probate deals with real property a lot – houses, condos, vacant lots, commercial buildings. Our clients often confuse the word “title” with “deed.” They will refer to a deed when they really mean title, as in “When does probate give me my deed?” One reason for the confusion is that, for motor vehicles, there is a single piece of paper – a certificate – that is “the title.” That is not true for real property.

A deed is something physical, like a check you deposit in the bank. That check, even if you kept a copy, does not prove you still have money in the bank. In the same way, a recorded deed does not prove you still have title.

Title is more like the balance in your bank account, and not shown by a single piece of paper.  Title is proven by a title search, which is always done by a professional title searcher when you sell property or mortgage it.  In probate, title is transferred from a decedent to beneficiaries or heirs by a deed in some cases, by a court order in others.

So, in that way, title is similar to your bank account balance, which is really proven only by the bank computer searching its records whenever you need to know your balance.   Fortunately, title to real property does not change as often as our bank balances change. Unfortunately, you cannot drive up to a machine, put in a card, and view your real property title. Maybe one day….

Get Answers To Your Deed/Title Questions

Contact the Florida Probate Attorneys at Statewide Probate®. Call our office at (850) 776-5834 OR (850) 202-853 today.