Parties & Aliases Tool
The Parties & Aliases tool is one of the most important features in the Tracts software. Its main purpose is to accurately calculate and convey the interests of entities named differently throughout title when those parties are one and the same entity.
The simplest use of this tool is to merge an individual's name with any known aliases.
For example, if instruments identify John Smith, John A. Smith, Jonathan Smith, and John Aaron Smith as the same party, enter:
Primary Party: Jonathan Aaron Smith
Aliases: John Smith, John A. Smith, Jonathan Smith, and John Aaron Smith
This way, you'll be able to enter any of the above names, as stated in a conveyance, and Tracts will accurately calculate the ownership change created by that conveyance.
When an alias is created, leave any pertinent notes for reviewers, both in the notecards where the party exists and in the Parties & Aliases Tool.
Further instructions regarding the Parties & Aliases Tool can be found here.
Husband and Wife
Enter husbands and wives as two separate parties, even if you believe they own the property as community property.
For example, if a document names "John Smith and Jane Smith, his wife" as Grantee, enter two separate Grantee lines, as follows:
John Smith, husband of Jane Smith
Jane Smith, wife of John Smith
Sole and Separate Property
In community property states (AZ, CA, ID, LA, NM, NV, TX, WA), property that either spouse acquires during the marriage is owned in equal parts, unless it is acquired in any of the following ways:
As an heir, whether by will or intestate succession;
By Gift Deed or similar deed containing language like "for the love and affection..."
Purchased with sole and separate funds.
Name grantees who are acquiring separate property by adding "SSP".
For example, if John Smith acquires a portion of his father's estate by intestacy, enter his name on the Grantee line as follows:
John Smith, SSP
Enter joint tenants as two separate parties. Identify the joint tenancy by including the bk/pg or instrument number within which the joint tenancy was created.
For example, if a document at Book 123, Page 456 named "John Smith and Jane Smith, husband, and wife, as joint tenants" as Grantee, enter two separate Grantee lines, as follows:
John Smith, husband of Jane Smith, JT (123/456)
Jane Smith, wife of John Smith, JT (123/456)
In some states, but not all, the right of survivorship is inferred by joint tenancy. Research the state you are running title in and leave any necessary notes in the notecard. However, do not enter anything indicating a right of survivorship on the Grantee/Grantor line in Tracts unless stated in the instrument or requested by a client.
Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship
Enter joint tenants with the right of survivorship as two separate parties. Identify the joint tenancy with the right of survivorship by including the bk/pg or instrument number within which the joint tenancy with the right of survivorship was created.
For example, if a document at Book 123, Page 456 named "John Smith and Jane Smith, husband, and wife, as joint tenants with right of survivorship" as Grantee, enter two separate Grantee lines, as follows:
John Smith, husband of Jane Smith, JTWROS (123/456)
Jane Smith, wife of John Smith, JTWROS (123/456)
Identify owners of life estates by referencing the instrument within which the life estate was established.
For example, if in the document at Book 123, Page 456 John Smith conveys his interest but reserves a life estate, reflect this on the Grantee line, as follows:
John Smith, LE (123/456)
Jim Smith, Remainderman (123/456)
Jane Smith, Remainderman (123/456)
When this life estate is established, enter "1" or "100%" in the mineral estate field, to allow Tracts to reflect that the entire mineral estate vests in the life estate owner: John Smith, LE (123/456).
Flag this card as a Reversion so you can refer back to it when you find a death record for the life tenant.
Upon finding a record of the life tenant's death, enter his/her probate or death record as a separate digital notecard, which will reflect the vesting of the remaindermen with the interest of the life estate.
When a grantor or grantee in an instrument is identified as a trust, name the trust, following this convention:
John Doe Family Trust, FBO Jane Doe, dated 01/01/1992, John Doe, Jr., John Boltz, and Jessica Boltz, Co-Trustees
Keep parties separate when they are acting individually and as Trustee.
Keep parties separate when they are beneficiaries of the same Trust--this will be indicated by the words "for the benefit of" or "FBO".
Include any instruments that transfer interest into successor trustees as separate notecards in your chain of title.
In some cases, a Successor Trustee will convey an interest of a trust, but you will not find a document whereby the Successor Trustee acquired that right. In such cases, you will need to enter an Assumption card reflecting the passing of rights of the Trustee.
You will also need to note this assumption within the digital notecard.
As a general rule, an agent acting on behalf of a governing body should be entered as an alias of that body.
For example, if multiple Sheriffs act as Sheriff of Tarrant County throughout your chain of title, enter the "Tarrant County Sheriff" as the primary party name and any of those Sheriffs' names should be entered as aliases.
“The” is only included in names of corporations--not in names of estates, trusts, etc.
Add a space and a period after each initial.