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A Guide to Correction Deeds - What You Need to Know

What exactly is a correction deed and when is it used? Trust & Will explains what you need to know about correction deeds.

Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks, @PatrickHicks

Head of Legal, Trust & Will

You’re taking a look at your deed and realize that there’s an error - oops! Now you may be wondering if there’s a way you can change your deed. Here, we have some good news and bad news. Once you’ve recorded a deed, it’s a part of the public record and can’t be changed. That’s the bad news. The good news? You can execute a new deed called a correction deed to amend that original record. Keep reading to find out what exactly a correction deed is, when you’d want to use one, and how to create one if needed.

How to correct an error in a deed

Errors in a deed do happen, although it is certainly something we hope to avoid. Common mistakes include misspellings, mistakes in the legal property description, errors in the title, and errors in the property address. Errors relating to the form of co-ownership can also happen. The error could also be in the way the deed was executed, such as when the wrong form of notary acknowledgment was used, or all parties did not properly sign the deed.

If you do notice an error in your deed, you should take the steps to correct it as soon as possible. Delaying the correction could lead to setbacks in the transfer of your property later on.

Mistakes are easy to correct if a deed hasn’t been recorded yet. You would simply fix the error in your deed by rewriting the language before it gets recorded. However, if the deed has been recorded, then you’ll need to use something called a correction deed.

What is a correction deed?

A correction deed, also known as a confirmatory or corrective deed, is a legal document used to fix errors on a property title that is recorded. 

Property owners can use this special type of deed to amend common errors such as misspellings, incomplete names, and other missing information. They can also use a correction deed to fix defects in the way the deed was executed or acknowledged. 

When is a correction deed used?

A correction deed is only used to make corrections to an existing deed. It cannot be used to transfer property ownership on its own. This type of deed still confirms the covenants and warranties that were originally in place. It should only be used to correct common, minor errors that were mentioned earlier, such as misspellings or missing information.

Different states have different rules for when a correction deed should be used. Mitigating material errors using a correction deed, for instance, could cause confusion. Examples include changing the legal description of the property, adding exhibits that were originally omitted, and adjusting the amount of consideration. Some states may allow you to use a correction deed to amend these flaws, while other states may require you to record an entirely new deed.

Correction deed example

There are several common examples of when you’d want to use a correction deed. For instance, you may be reviewing your deed and realize that your name is misspelled. Or, you realize that your spouse’s name and marital status were omitted. Another common example is a small error in the legal property description. These are all examples of reasons you would need to use a correction deed to amend the original deed.

However, the definition of a minor error is subjective and is determined from state to state. There may be cases in which your state will require you to record a new deed entirely. Examples include material changes to the deed. Maybe the legal property description is changing, or there was an error regarding the warranty or covenants in the original deed. These are likely scenarios in which a correction deed will not suffice and you’d have to start over by recording a new deed. 

For the best information and guidance, contact your local county recorder’s office in which your property is located. 

How to create a correction deed

To create a correction deed, first visit your local county recorder’s office. They can usually provide you with a correction deed form, along with helpful guides on how to complete the form.

If you prepared the original deed on your own, determine if the error was made due to a lack of proper knowledge or professional help. To avoid further mistakes, you may want to consider obtaining some professional assistance to ensure that your correction deed will properly amend the errors made on the original.

Otherwise, you can follow your correction deed form as your template and refer to any guides that may have been provided to you. 

To create a correction deed, obtain a copy of the original deed to include as your attachment. This is duplicated with the additional word “Correction” next to the title. Then, be sure to identify the error included in the original and indicate how it should be corrected. You may also need to include a brief explanation as to why you are modifying the deed. Last but not least, be sure to include all vital information about the previously recorded deed. Examples include how the title was transferred and the recording data, including the date and the document number. 

How do you correct a typo on a deed?

If you find a mistake or typo on your deed, don’t worry. Luckily, most states offer you an easy way to amend your original deed without having to record an entirely new one. You can fix any minor errors or typos, such as misspellings, by using a correction deed.

Correction deeds merely include the original deed as an attachment, reference identifying information regarding the deed, and point out the error that must be correct. Of course, the correction deed must also clearly instruct how the error should be amended.

A great starting place is to obtain a correction deed form from your local county office. Once you’ve completed the form, perhaps with some professional assistance, you would have it recorded with your county office.

Reviewing your estate planning documentation, including your property deeds, is best practice. Although you would hope not to find any errors, they can happen from time to time. If you do happen to discover any mistakes or types, it’s important that you correct them right away. Here, you might need to use a correction deed and update your Estate Plan. 

Worried about the headache that might ensue when trying to figure out how to update your Estate Plan? Consider enlisting the help of Trust & Will! What we have is a special platform designed with you in mind. We help many Americans create and update their Estate Plans easily and affordably. Better yet, it can all be done online! Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning options today!

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