As a real estate attorney, one request I often receive from clients is to prepare a deed to transfer their real estate into either a trust (such a revocable trust for estate planning purposes) or an LLC (for liability purposes). At first glance, this may appear to be a simple request with no adverse effects or consequences. However, depending on when the property was acquired, transferring your property may have adverse effects on your owner’s title policy that you received when you purchased the property.

Florida Title Insurance Policy Forms

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“Florida OIR”) governs the title insurance industry in several ways, including the rates charged and the title insurance policy forms issued by attorneys and title agents to purchasers of real estate.


Continue Reading

Mortgage contractI find myself frequently having conversations with potential clients asking why they shouldn’t use a title company to handle the closing of their new home. Why spend more money to hire an attorney when a title company can close the deal for less? Excellent question.

Sure, a title company can create the documents necessary to close the deal. They can also generally guide the parties on some issues that might come up, such as what additional requirements must be met when the seller is considered a “foreign person” under FIRPTA.


Continue Reading

The Situation

A friend of mine just bought a vacant lot and plans to build a house on it someday. While telling me about the purchase, he mentioned that he thought it was great that he could pay so little for title insurance, yet still insure the full value of his future home against a title defect.

While trying not to deflate his bubble too much, I explained that the title insurance he purchased very likely would not cover the house, or any other improvements he might make to the property. The title insurance policy only insures him (the policy holder) up to the amount stated on the face of the policy.

The amount on the face of the policy is almost always limited to the market value of the property at the time of purchase. This means that his title policy covers the value of the vacant land at the time of purchase, but any additional value created by appreciation, construction of improvements, or by any other means would not be covered.

The Solution


Continue Reading