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Deeds may contain exceptions and reservations. They both have in common the fact that each diminishes the interest a grantee would have otherwise taken under the deed in which they may appear.
Occasionally, deeds reflect the erroneous draftsmanship practice of equating exceptions with reservations.
An exception in a deed has the purpose of eliminating or excepting out of the grant a part of the property or thing granted which:
A conveys to B: Lot 1, Block 1, Blackacres, a subdivision in ___________, except the north 50 feet thereof.
In this situation, the portion excepted from the conveyance (the north 50 feet of lot 1) has not passed to B.
A reservation in a deed has the purpose to create a right for the benefit of the grantor in the property granted which did not exist prior to the reservation as a separate and distinct right.
In a reservation, nothing is withheld or excepted from the grant, but the grantor retains in the grantor's name a new right to the property which would otherwise pass by the grant.
A conveys to B: Lot 1, Block 1, Blackacres, a subdivision in ________________.
Deeds may be encountered in which a reservation is made in favor of a stranger not appearing in the record chain of title. Some courts have held that such a reservation creates no interest in favor of the stranger or spouse and such a deed should not be relied upon for the purpose of insuring title. On the other hand, exception in the commitment and policy must be made as to any such reservation.
Recitals in deeds creating reservations or exceptions of whatever nature or conditions must be shown as proper title exceptions either within the legal description (some excepted parts of the property) or as part of the commitments or policies, unless these matters are properly disposed of record.
Title exceptions should not be eliminated on reliance of the possible illegality of reservations in favor of strangers or spouses not in the record chain of title.
Please refer to Easements (5.00) and Life Estates (11.20).