Requirements for Acceptance of Instruments

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Depending upon the skill and care of the draftsperson, an instrument may or may not accomplish what it is intended to do.  In other words, an instrument may or may not be legally sufficient.  Although the statutory law places certain duties upon a register to determine whether an instrument is acceptable for registration, this is not a determination of legal sufficiency.  For example, a deed must have upon it a reference to the last recorded instrument relating to the property referred to in the deed before the register may record the deed.  But, even if not recorded, the deed may be effective between the parties to convey the legal and equitable title.  Conversely, a deed may meet all of the requirements for acceptance and yet contain defects in draftsmanship which would make the deed functionally inoperative.

The register should not try to determine the legal sufficiency of an instrument, but must determine whether or not it is acceptable for registration.