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ISSUES IN OWNERSHIP OF REAL ESTATE
U.S.A. – PENNSYLVANIA Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary S. Lewis Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC Two Liberty Place 50 South 16th Street, 22nd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102 Tel: 215.851.8443 / Fax: 215.851.8383 Email: email@example.com Web Site: www.eckertseamans.com
1. Is perpetual fee simple ownership of real property permitted? If not, what are the principal forms of ownership, or other principal form of ownership, of real property?
Yes, fee simple absolute property ownership is permitted in Pennsylvania.
2. What instruments are used to convey fee simple ownership, or other principal form of ownership, of real estate?
A deed is used to convey ownership of real estate. A deed utilizing the words “grant and convey,” or either one of said words, passes to the grantee named therein a fee simple title to the premises conveyed, unless the deed expressly limits the conveyance to a lesser estate. 21 Pa.C.S.A.§2. The large majority of transactions in Pennsylvania are completed using a special warranty deed.
3. How in this jurisdiction is the ownership of real property recorded or searched? Who generally performs the search?
Ownership of real property is established by searching the grantor/grantee index in the recorder of deeds office in the county in which the property is located. A title search is generally conducted by a title insurance company. Attorneys typically do not perform title