Mission Viejo, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Arkansas

Q: What needs to be done to get clear title to property with defective deed.

In the 1960s my grandparents purchased a lot alongside a highway in Arkansas. My Mother inherited this lot and wants to be able to sell it. However, the original deed’s description has an error, such that the north property line coincides with the centerline of the highway, when it should have been stated to run long the highway’s southern right-of-way. This error essentially displaces the lot to the north by 40 feet (onto the highway), such that she does not have title to the southernmost 40 feet of the lot that has been used and maintained by our family since the 1960s. A large workshop (built, used, maintained by my grandfather for 50+ years) still straddles the now-displaced southern property line, such that part is north of the line and part is south of it. A title company rep. recently informed us that this problem cannot be addressed by a corrective deed or Scrivener’s affidav (I've reached my character limit!). What are our options, so that my Mother has title to sell the land?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: A conveyance to a family member with a correct legal description based upon adverse possession with color of title might work to get it sold later. You need a good lawyer, not a title company. Keep in mind your title is not going to be perfect as the correction deed should have been executed long ago. There is nothing wrong with going to the center of the road, it is the rear boundary corners that you are concerned with. A tax statute might help also. Hire a competent AR attorney that will represent you.

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