Washington county recorders of deeds md

Please call us at or fill out our contact form if you have any questions about this topic. Maryland law requires sellers to disclose certain known defects to buyers.

Maryland Public Records

Types of Deeds Three types of deeds apply to real estate transactions in Maryland: General Warranty Deed — This is a deed that sellers provide the buyer that guarantees the property is free of any liens or any other legal claims in its entire history. A General Warranty Deed obligates the seller to cover the costs of any undisclosed claims against the property, should claims arise after sale.

Special Warranty Deed — A Special Warranty Deed is similar to a General Warranty Deed, except it does not guarantee that the property is free of any legal claims under previous owners. If, after sale, a previous lien or claim against the property should arise, the buyer would be responsible for resolving those claims.

This type of deed is common in divorce, when one spouse surrenders rights to a jointly owned home, and it can be used to transfer ownership of property to a family member. The person filing the Quitclaim Deed does not imply actual ownership, but instead guarantees that any rights he or she may have in the property are surrendered upon execution of the deed.

An affidavit of survivorship is sometimes called a survivorship affidavit , affidavit of surviving spouse , affidavit of surviving joint tenant , or affidavit of continuous marriage. These terms all refer to the same instrument. To determine if you can use an affidavit of survivorship, review the most recent deed to the property.

If you are listed as a beneficiary under a life estate, lady bird, or TOD deed, look at the deed that gave you an interest as a beneficiary. If you co-owned the property with the deceased owner, review the deed that transferred the property to you and the deceased owner.

2. Obtain a Form

Look for language that creates a right of survivorship. The only way to confirm that you have a right of survivorship is to review the deed.

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There are three ways you may hold title with right of survivorship:. If the deed included survivorship rights, and if the other owners named in the deed survived the deceased owner, you can usually use an affidavit of survivorship to remove the deceased owner. We sometimes get questions from customers looking for a deed to remove a deceased owner. Some have been told by a government clerk that they need a quitclaim deed to remove a deceased owner from title to real estate. As a preliminary matter, it is important to note that county clerks are not attorneys.

Although most are competent and experienced, there are many who are not. County clerks are not always correct and, in any event, should not be giving legal advice. Because the owner is deceased, he or she cannot sign the deed to transfer title to the new owner.

Frederick Real Estate Transfer Lawyer | MD Deed Attorney

For someone to sign on behalf of the deceased owner, he or she would need legal authority to do so. The only way to get legal authority to act on behalf of a deceased owner is to open a probate proceeding as described below. Pressed for office space, the Washington County recorder of deeds was cleaning an unused walk-in vault when she uncovered two tattered books - proof that slavery once flourished in Western Pennsylvania.

Woodward discovered Washington and Adams Gettysburg are the only Pennsylvania counties still possesing their slave registers. Using the books as root-tracing sources would be difficult, though, not so much because of the flowery handwriting but because most slaves were identified by first name only, some weren't named at all and there's no way of knowing if a freed slave or his descendents assumed the listed master's surname.

Still even a cursory glance through the tomes yields interesting facts on the status of blacks in colonial Pennsylvania.


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In the register, in which every master had to record his slaves, a typical entry reads, "One negro woman named Luce aged 19 years". Women sometimes were listed "wench" which back then had no derogatory conotations ; sexual designation sometimes was preceeded, if at all, with any of three spellings of mulatto. Just about everyone: lawyers, tanners, millers, "gentlemen," farmers - even ministers. Herbert Wallace of Fallowfield Twp. Most slaves were young age always was listed since it was a significant price determinant had the owner wished to sell ; children, teens and young adults abound in the register.