The COVID-19 pandemic brought about feelings of uncertainty for most Americans. As a result, we observed a spike in the number of people thinking about estate planning, relative to the usual numbers. Through the process of estate planning, you’ll typically review your documents related to your assets and property. One such important type of document is the deed to your house or any other real property you might own. Here, it’s important to pay special attention. Is your deed correct and free of errors? If you discovered anything about your deed that needs correcting, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your guide on how to use a correction deed in New York.
How do correction deeds work in New York?
Correction deeds are also commonly referred to as confirmatory instruments. This reference is helpful because it tells us that a correction deed is a legal tool that confirms an existing title. It doesn’t replace it. Rather, the correction deed perfects the already-existing deed that was created at an earlier time.
A correction deed in New York explicitly references that existing deed that is required correction. It does so by referencing its original date of execution and recording, as well as its document identification number.
Then, the correction deed must identify the errors that were made in the existing deed, followed by the correct information and an explanation for why the correction is being made.
According to Deeds.com, a new real property transfer report with original signatures must be recorded along with all deeds in New York, including correction deeds. The reference numbers for these report forms are RP-5217-PDF or RP-5217NYC, which can be obtained at your county recording office. You may also order the forms online, but you cannot download them.
It’s important to clarify that a correction deed cannot be used to transfer title. They are strictly used to correct any typos, errors, or misinformation on an existing deed. Because a transaction doesn’t take place, you won’t be subject to a transfer tax. You should be careful to include proof that the transfer tax was already paid. You can do so by providing a legal affidavit stating that the tax was already paid, or by including the original cover page of the existing deed.
Last but not least, be sure to double-check with your local county regarding any county-specific requirements for recording a correction deed. For instance, some New York counties may require a cover page, sometimes called a recording and endorsement cover page. Be prepared to pay recording fees per page of your correction document.
How to correct a deed in New York
If you find that your original recorded deed is affected by an error, don’t worry. In most cases, New York county rules will allow you to correct harmless errors by recording a correction deed.
Note that the course of corrective action will vary on a case-by-case basis. The following is an overview of the steps you’ll generally take to correct a deed error in New York, but it’s highly recommended that you consult your local county recorder's office to find out your respective requirements.
Figure out if the error on your recorded deed is harmless or could prove fatal in a future transfer of title.
Based on the type of error, decide what type of legal instrument would be most appropriate to correct the error.
Draft your corrective deed, affidavit, or a new deed based on your decision.
Obtain the original signature(s) of the Grantor(s) of the deed.
Re-execute a deed or record a correction deed with property notarization and witnessing as required.
Ensure that your selected instrument is recorded with the appropriate county office. Be sure to pay the required recording fees.
Discovering an error on your deed can be upsetting, but keep in mind that human errors happen all the time, and that there is a course of corrective action. Of course, when recording a deed, we’ll want to be careful and prevent errors in the first place. After all, a deed is a critical document that proves legal property rights and ownership, and is also the legal instrument used to transfer title to the property.
However, if you do discover a typo or incorrect piece of information, you simply need to step into action. Contact your local New York county recorder or clerk's office and receive consultation on the legal instruments available to you. In most cases, you can simply record a correction deed in New York. If the error is complex, or what is considered fatal to the transfer of property, then you may consider working with a real estate attorney to figure out the appropriate remedy.
When updating or correcting any important legal instrument, be sure to also use the opportunity to review and update your estate plan to ensure you don’t run into any hiccups regarding the future transfer of property. If you need any assistance, Trust & Will is here to help! Our estate planning solutions make it a breeze to create and keep your estate planning documents up-to-date! Find out how to get started today.
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