What Is a Scrivener's Affidavit?

By Valerie Stevens
A scrivener, a clerk, typist, public

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A deed is a legal document that transfers real estate from one owner to the next, and a mistake can mean the difference between legally owning a piece of property or not owning it at all. An incorrect deed that has been recorded in the public records can be corrected, though. A scrivener’s affidavit is used to correct minor errors, and a corrective deed clears up mistakes that affect ownership. Filing a corrective deed or a scrivener’s affidavit takes care of most problems in the initial document.

Scrivener's Affidavit Clarifies Typos in Deed

A scrivener's mistake is a typographical error that does not change the intention or effect of the deed. A typo in a name or minor mistake in the legal description of the property is the type of problem that usually can be handled with a scrivener's affidavit. The affidavit is a sworn statement that describes the mistake in the deed and clarifies what the accurate information is. The affidavit must include proper indexing to the original deed and must be filed in the courthouse where the deed was filed.

Corrective Deed Replaces Defective Deed

A corrective deed clears up substantial mistakes in a deed or corrects errors that make the deed invalid, such as not having the required number of witnesses. For example, if part of the legal description of the property is omitted, the recipient might not legally own all of the land he purchased, but a corrective deed can remedy the situation; it acts as a new deed, which the person selling the property must sign.

About the Author

Valerie Stevens is a professional writer and editor based in the Carolinas. She was an editor at daily newspapers for 20 years and now works as a paralegal. She has edited several books and her work has been published in The Knoxville News-Sentinel, The Springfield Daily News, The Georgetown Times and Natural Awakenings magazine. Stevens holds degrees in journalism and paralegal studies.

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