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A warranty deed doesn’t always convey everything

Lawyers are taught in law school that ownership of land carries with it a bundle of rights. A warranty deed conveys “fee simple absolute” title, which is the full bundle of rights. A person who obtains title by a warranty deed gets 100% of the rights associated with the piece of land described in the deed, other than what is excepted by the language of the deed, such as recorded restrictions and easements.

But Missouri courts have recognized a hole in this rule: some rights associated with real estate are personal property, not real property, even though the rights have to do with real estate. The warranty deed does not necessarily convey these rights, even though the warranty deed says that it is conveying all “rights, privileges, interests and appurtenances” that go with the land described.

Unless the special rights are specifically identified in the deed or another document of assignment, a court can require a trial to determine whether the person who signed the deed intended to convey them. Most lawyers don’t know about this quirk, and it can bite their clients real hard. Read the rest of this entry

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