Texas Title Standards for Execution and Acknowledgment
Contributor, Dave Jones
Every instrument effecting title must be properly dated, executed and acknowledged. It is the responsibility of Texas title examiners to be mindful of all requirements and identify inconsistencies that may affect the chain of title.
Under Texas law there is a rebuttable presumption that undated instruments have been timely and properly executed. However, examiners must be mindful that if the documents reviewed indicate that a date has particular significance, an inconsistency cannot be disregarded.
Further, a Texas title examiner must analyze the signature and acknowledgement on an instrument. The basic requirements for acknowledgments are: (1) the signer personally appeared before the notary; (2) the signer was known by the notary to be the person whose name is on the instrument; and (3) that the signer acknowledged that the document was executed for the purpose and consideration stated within the instrument.
Defective instruments can create a cloud on title or be wholly void. For example, if a deed is executed by a married woman prior to August 22, 1963, but not acknowledged to be made “privily and apart” from the woman’s husband, it is void as to her. Similarly, an acknowledgment that is made by a corporate officer but fails to state that in what capacity the person is executing the document can render the instrument invalid as to the intended parties.
The above is in no way an exhaustive list, however, it provides a glimpse of why it is important for Texas title examiners to properly review chain of title and identify any failures to comply with Texas law.