A Deed’s Traditional Parts
Deeds traditionally contained more than the elements required today. You may still run into these traditional components, so it’s good to be familiar with them:
Premises: The premises are the parties’ names, a statement of consideration paid, the legal description of the property conveyed, and a clause granting the property to the grantee. Today courts agree that consideration doesn’t have to be paid for a deed, so there’s no need to state the consideration paid.
But in a few states, a statement of consideration creates a rebuttable presumption that the grantee did pay consideration, which may help the grantee establish her right to the protection of the recording statute.
Habendum clause: Habendum is the beginning of the Latin phrase meaning to have and to hold. You may still see deeds using this phrase. The clause limits the estate being granted. For example, a habendum clause may limit the grant to a life estate by saying, To have and to hold during her natural life.
The habendum clause thus may limit or qualify the interest conveyed by the granting clause, but traditionally, if a habendum clause contradicts the estate named in the granting clause, the granting clause prevails. Nowadays, though, courts are likely to try to determine the grantor’s intent from the deed as a whole.
Reddendum clause: A reddendum clause is a clause by which the grantor reserves some interest in the property, like a life estate or mineral estate. For example, a reddendum clause could reserve mineral rights by saying something like, All minerals are reserved and excepted from this conveyance.
Warranties of title: Warranties of title are still common, although they’re often made without expressly reciting the warranties of title in the deed. Instead, if the deed uses granting language specified by state statute, the use of that language has the effect of making the warranties of title even though they’re not included in the deed.
Execution: A deed ends with the execution, or the signatures of the grantors. A deed commonly includes a certificate of acknowledgement by a notary and maybe signatures of other witnesses.