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Information Related to Recorded Documents
The contents that follow are for informational purposes only. The Assessor’s Office cannot offer legal advice. If you are transferring a property, we recommend you consult an attorney or title company for assistance. The information on this page is from the Division of Property Taxation, State of Colorado – Advanced Title Conveyance.
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1. Joint tenancy
a. In order to create a joint tenancy, the conveyance to the individuals must use the words “in joint tenancy,” “as joint tenants,” “JTWROS,” “as joint tenants with right of survivorship,” or “in joint tenancy with right of survivorship,”§ 38-31-101 (1), C.R.S.
b. A conveyance to two or more personal representatives, trustees, or other fiduciaries is presumed to be joint tenancy. § 38-31-101(3), C.R.S.
c. Statute establishes the “doctrine of the four unities,” which is required for joint tenancy, § 38-31-101(1.5), C.R.S. The “doctrine of the four unities of time, title, interest, and possession” means the common law doctrine that a joint tenancy is created by conveyance or devise of real property to two or more persons at the same time of the same title to the same interest with the same right of possession and includes the right of survivorship, 38-31-101(1.5)(c), C.R.S.
(1) Title: Each joint tenant must receive his or her interest in the property on the same instrument.
(2) Time: Each joint tenant must receive the property interest at the same time.
Upon the death of a joint tenant, leaving a surviving joint tenant, the interest of the deceased party automatically vests to the surviving joint tenant. *Note: The ownership change will occur in the Assessor’s Office records upon the recording of the death certificate with the Teller County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. In the case of two or more surviving joint tenants, the decedent’s interest vests proportionately to their respective interests at the time the joint tenancy was created.
2. Tenancy in common
Tenancy in common exists whenever two or more persons or entities simultaneously own an interest or estate in the same property. Each tenant owns an undivided interest in the whole property. Upon the death of a tenant, the ownership interest of the decedent passes to his/her heirs at law or devisees under a will. Colorado law presumes that multiple owners of the same property are tenants in common in the absence of specific words that establish a joint tenancy.
Common Terms (language associated with real property)
1. Grantor: The person or entity conveying an interest in real property. If a deed reads "A conveys property to B," A is the Grantor.
2. Grantee: The recipient of a conveyance. If A conveys property to B, B is the Grantee.
3. Co-Tenancy: If the same estate in land is owned by two or more people, each of the owners is referred to as a "co-tenant." We normally associate the word "tenant" with leases. This is a point of possible confusion since people who lease property are also referred to as "tenants," but in this context the same term is used to refer to a type of common ownership of real property. For this purpose, “co-tenancy” is the equivalent of “co-ownership”. Co-Tenancies in Colorado are found in two forms:
Tenants in Common:
Tenancy in common exists whenever two or more persons or entities simultaneously own the same interest or estate in the same property. Each owner or tenant in common is deemed to own an “undivided interest” in the whole of the property (see definition below). Upon the death of a tenant in common, the ownership interest in that property of the decedent will pass to his or her heirs at law or devisees under a will. Each tenant in common has equal right to possession of the entire property. Colorado law presumes that multiple owners of the same property are tenants in common in the absence of specific words which establish the other kind of cotenancy. (C.R.S. 38-31-101).
Two or more people (these owners must be human beings and cannot be a type of entity such as partnership or corporation) owning property with rights of survivorship are deemed to be joint tenants.
Upon the death of one joint tenant, the interest of that decedent would not pass to his or her heirs at law but would automatically, by operation of law, pass to the surviving joint tenant(s).
To create a joint tenancy, the conveyance to the individuals must include the words "in joint tenancy" or "as joint tenants" (see C.R.S. 38-31-101). The statute also expressly allows using the abbreviation, “JTWROS” to create a joint tenancy. If these words are not included in the conveyance, the presumption of Colorado law is that the conveyance is to the grantees as tenants in common.
Numerous court decisions in Colorado strictly limit and define joint tenancy. The words stated above must be used. For example, using the word "jointly" has been deemed insufficient to comply with the statute (C.R.S. 38-31-101) for creation of a joint tenancy.
TYPES OF DEEDS
(not an all-inclusive list of deed types)
General Warranty Deed
This type of deed contains the most extensive guarantees and covenants of any deed. Inclusion in the deed of words such as “warrants the title” and “against all and every” makes the deed a Warranty Deed, § 38-30-113, C.R.S.
The grantor warrants the title against defects existing before the grantor acquired title, or arising during the grantor's ownership. It does not warrant against encumbrances arising from the grantee's own acts.
A Warranty Deed passes after acquired title. After acquired title means that the grantor can convey title before it is acquired. Once acquired, title immediately passes to the grantee named in the first deed.
Special Warranty Deed
Inclusion of the words “warrants the title against all persons claiming under me” or roughly equivalent language, constitutes a Special Warranty Deed, § 38-30-115, C.R.S.
The grantor warrants only against defects arising after the grantor acquired the property and not against defects arising before that time.
A Special Warranty Deed passes after acquired title.
Bargain and Sale Deed passes after acquired title.
If a deed includes the conveyance language “sell and convey,” but does not include any warranty of title, it is classified a Bargain and Sale Deed, § 38-30-115, C.R.S.
This type of deed constitutes a bare conveyance of title without any covenants or warranties.
A Bargain and Sale Deed passes after acquired title.
Quit Claim Deed
A deed that includes the words “quit claim” as the language of conveyance is a Quit Claim Deed, 38-30-116, C.R.S.
A Quit Claim Deed contains no covenants of warranty, and by using the words “quit claim” the grantor is conveying only whatever interest he or she may have, if the grantor has an interest as of the date of the deed.
A Quit Claim Deed does not pass after acquired title.
This is not a statutory “type” of deed, but is an instrument sometimes used to correct information stated on a statutory deed. Non-material changes such as correcting minor typographical errors can be done in this manner, but material changes such as changing the name of the grantee, modifying the legal description or adding exceptions cannot be made with a corrective deed.
An Easement Deed conveys an interest in land, entitling the holder of the interest to limited use of the land. Title to property is not transferred.
A Beneficiary Deed is a deed subject to revocation by the owner and which conveys an interest in real property containing language that the conveyance is effective upon the death of the owner, §§ 15-15-401 to 415, C.R.S.
The Beneficiary Deed is distinguished from an ordinary deed by including the language “conveys on death” or “transfers on death” or other language indicating the transfer or conveyance is to be effective only on the death of the grantor. To be effective, a Beneficiary Deed must be recorded prior to the death of the grantor, in the county where the property is located. The “effective on death” language must appear in the body of the document and must be recorded prior to the death of the grantor, §§ 15-15-402 and 404, C.R.S.
Statement of Authority on behalf of the entity being represented.
The Statement of Authority does not create the authority; it merely evidences it. Statement of Authority (C.R.S. 38-30-172(2)(d)) is roughly equivalent to the similar statement which must be recorded for an unincorporated non-profit association. The statement must include:
(1) The name of the entity;
(2) The type of entity;
(3) The governmental authority under which the entity was formed;
(4) A mailing address for the entity;
(5) The name or position of the person authorized to execute instruments on behalf of the entity.
The Statement of Authority appears to be coexistent with other instruments required by law to enable an entity to hold or convey title and other instruments permitted by law to be recorded to provide prima facie evidence of recited facts affecting title to real property.
The statute does not specify who may or must sign a Statement of Authority nor does it require that the Statement be acknowledged.
Contract of sale
Legal ownership is not transferred by a contract of sale. A contract for the sale of property is an agreement between two or more persons, which creates an obligation to purchase property.
Real Property Transfer Declaration (TD1000)
A TD1000 must be filed with every conveyance of real property that is recorded on or after July 1, 1989, and that is subject to the documentary fee, § 39-14-102(1)(a), C.R.S.
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