Kentucky Office of the Attorney General’s opinion regarding the new statutory requirement

that a deed contain the “full name” of the grantor and grantee

 

On July 15, 2016, a change to KRS 382.135, a recording statute, became effective. The only change was the addition of the requirement that “the full name of the grantor and grantee” be contained in the deed. However, that particular statute does not define “full name,” nor do the remainder of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. This is of particular importance, as the statute further requires that no county clerk shall lodge for record a deed that does not comply with all requirements in the statute.

In response to this uncertainty, a joint letter from Kentucky Land Title Association, the Fayette County Clerk, and the Kentucky Bankers Association was sent to the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, requesting clarity on these issues.

On July 15, 2016, the OAG issued its interpretation of the new requirement and the county clerks’ obligations under this statute. In its opinion, the OAG advised that “full name” is to be interpreted as “a surname and a personal name, initials, or combination of those.” Further, the OAG states that “[c]ounty clerks are not liable for erroneous or false uses of a full name in a deed.”

The OAG’s opinion has thus interpreted “full name” very loosely, as it may contain any combination of a first name or initials and surname, or even just a person’s legal name, no matter how many or few names it may contain. Further, the OAG has removed any burdensome obligation of the county clerk to independently verify a person’s full name, as it has stated that a county clerk would not be “liable for erroneous or false uses of a person’s full name in a deed.”

The Real Estate attorneys and staff at Denton Law Law Firm are prepared to answer any questions you may have concerning this new development. Please call us at 270-450-8253 with any questions you may have.

To read the Kentucky Attorney General’s opinion, click the following link: Kentucky OAG Opinion