Deeds and other conveyances of an interest in lands must be signed by the party or parties granting the interest, acknowledged by the grantor, as provided by statute, and recorded in the clerk’s office of the town in which such lands are located.
Comment 1. The requirements for execution and acknowledgment are set forth in 27 V.S.A § 341 and 342.
Effective March 24, 2020 the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) adopted Emergency Administrative Rules for Notaries Public and Remote [Ink] Notarization which Rules remain in effect for 180 days thereafter (to wit: September 20, 2020) unless extended. Documents notarized utilizing Remote Ink Notarization during the effective period must comply with the Emergency Administrative Rules. https://sos.vermont.gov/media/byvjsc2a/emergency-rules-remote-notary-final-2020-0324.pdf
OPR also published Guidance on Emergency Rules for Notaries Public and Remote [Ink] Notarization. https://sos.vermont.gov/media/mixppvcq/emergency-rules-remote-notary-final-2020-0324.pdf
Comment 2. Omission of the date of execution and/or acknowledgment from a conveyance or other instrument affecting title does not impair marketability. Even if the date of execution/acknowledgment is of particular significance, an undated instrument should be presumed to have been timely executed/acknowledged if the date of execution/ acknowledgment or of recordation supports that presumption.
Inconsistencies in the recitals or indication of dates, as between dates of execution and acknowledgment or recordation, do not impair marketability. Absent a particular significance of one of the dates, a proper sequence of formalities will be presumed, notwithstanding such inconsistencies. See Spero v. Bove, 116 VT 76 (1950).
Comment 3. An executor, administrator or guardian may not appoint an attorney in fact for the purpose of executing a document affecting title to real property. See Watkins’ Estate v. Howard National Bank & Trust Company, 113 Vt. 126 (1943), at page 133; See also, 14 V.S.A. 3504.
Comment 4. Absent evidence of authority to the contrary, a trustee, corporate officer, designated partner, or anyone else acting in an elected or appointive capacity may not appoint an attorney in fact for the purpose of executing a document affecting title to real property. A designated partner is one appointed under a written resolution or authorization to act on behalf of the partnership. A general partner may appoint an attorney in fact as to matters affecting only the interest of that general partner.
Comment 5. See 27 V.S.A. Section 348 for the exceptions to the rule for defective instruments which have been on record for a period of years.
Comment 6. See 26 VSA §§5374-5378 for the requirements for acknowledgment of deeds and other conveyances of interests in land, or powers of attorney affecting such lands, in another state, province or kingdom.
Comment 7. The requirement of a witness was omitted as of July 1, 2004. The change applies retroactively.
Comment 8. Unless a trust instrument prohibits delegation of authority, a trustee may delegate the trustee’s duties and powers to an agent as provided in 14A VSA 807. An alternate
source of authority to delegate a trustee’s powers by powers of attorney appears in 14 VSA 3504(b)(7).
March 29, 2000:
- The first sentence of the standard was revised to reflect the statutory change so that “one or more” witnesses are sufficient.
- Comment 1(c) was rewritten generally for clarification of the circumstances in which a fiduciary may grant a power of attorney.
- Comment 1(d) – The case of the letters was changed from all caps to mixed case to match the context of the remaining standards.
February 5, 2008: Original Comment 1(e) and 1(f) omitted; Comment 1(g) and 1(h) renumered and a new Comment 1(g) added.
September 24, 2010: Comment 1 was reformatted.
September 20, 2012: Comment 8 was added.
September 2020: Comment 1 was amended.
September 2022: Comment 6 was revised.