Understanding the Basics of Land Legal Descriptions

Understanding the Basics of Land Legal Descriptions

Land legal descriptions are a set of rules and regulations that dictate how land is owned, used, and transferred. They are used by lawyers and surveyors to determine a person’s rights and obligations in relation to a piece of land. Understanding the basics of land legal descriptions can be difficult, but having a good grasp of the fundamentals can help you navigate the complexities of land ownership and transfer.

What is a Legal Description?

A legal description is a technical description of a piece of land that is used to identify it in legal documents. The legal description typically includes the size, shape, location, and boundaries of the property in question. It may also include other information such as the owner’s name, the date of purchase, and the deed of ownership.

Types of Legal Descriptions

Legal descriptions come in various forms, depending on the purpose of the document. Common types of legal descriptions include metes and bounds, lot and block, and government survey descriptions.

Metes and bounds descriptions are the oldest form of legal description and are used to define the boundaries of a parcel of land. It typically describes the boundaries of the property in terms of direction and distance.

Lot and block descriptions are more commonly used today and are written using a grid system. Each lot is identified by its location within the grid as well as its specific size and shape.

Government survey descriptions are used to identify parcels of land that are part of the public domain. They are typically written in a standardized format and include information such as the surveyor’s name, the date of the survey, and the boundaries of the parcel.

Purpose of Legal Descriptions

Legal descriptions are used to establish the exact boundaries of a property and to provide evidence of legal ownership. They are also used to create legal documents such as deeds, mortgages, and leases. In addition, they are used in court cases to establish ownership and to determine a person’s rights and obligations in relation to a piece of land.

How to Read a Legal Description

Reading a legal description can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the terminology and the conventions used in a particular legal description. It is important to understand the various elements of a legal description and how they are used to identify a parcel of land.

The first element of a legal description is the title. This is a brief description of the land and typically includes the name of the owner and the date of purchase.

The second element is the legal description itself. This typically includes the size, shape, boundaries, and location of the property. It may also include other information such as easements and restrictions.

The third element is the surveyor’s information. This includes the name of the surveyor, the date of the survey, and the purpose of the survey.

The fourth element is the plat map. This is a map that shows the exact location of the property within a larger area such as a county or state.

Conclusion

Land legal descriptions are an important tool for understanding a person’s rights and obligations in relation to a piece of land. Understanding the basics of land legal descriptions can help you navigate the complexities of land ownership and transfer. Having a good grasp of the fundamentals can help you determine the exact boundaries of a property and provide evidence of legal ownership.