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IL real estate lawyerIf you are a first-time homebuyer, there are many legal terms with which you may not be familiar. In residential real estate terms, a deed is a document that proves the transfer of a title of a specific property from one individual to another. A title is the legal right to use and alter the property if the owner so chooses. With a title, the owner can also transfer interest or any portion to others through the deed, which represents the right of the owner to claim the property. The main difference is the title describes or names the primary holder of the property, whereas the deed is the official legal document that is filed.

The Importance of a Title

There is an old saying, “What is in a title?” Basically, title is the legal term that refers to ownership of something. It may be helpful to think of the word “entitle,” which means having ownership or control over something. In real estate, that would be property. A title is a very important element in residential real estate transactions. When a person holds a title to a home, they possess the legal rights, ownership control, and responsibility of that house. Titles can be held by a single person or by two or more individuals, such as a married couple or an adult and his or her parents. It is important to note that titles can also be held by corporations, organizations, and trusts where all the involved parties share certain ownership rights.

Details of the Deed

A deed is the actual paperwork that is signed by someone who is selling or transferring over the rights to their property, and this person is typically known as the grantor. The person buying or taking possession of the home is referred to as the grantee. The deed includes the names of the property’s seller and the buyer, and the seller must sign it to confirm the transfer of ownership.

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title of property, Illinois Estate Planning LawyerWhen a person is purchasing a home, it will need to be decided how he or she wants to hold title of the property at the closing. There are several options from which homeowners can choose; however, it is important to understand that any chosen option may affect what happens to that property in the event of the owner's death.

Each of the choices have both positive and negative aspects. The following provides a general overview of each option, but it is always beneficial to discuss the options with a qualified estate planning attorney prior to making any legal decision.

Sole Ownership

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