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The process for terminating an easement in California

Terminated easements in California must be recorded with a county clerk office in the county where the property is located. When terminations are not recorded, refinancing could be delayed or real estate closings prevented, even if an easement has expired. It is therefore important to terminate easements properly to remove any problems with the title. There is a simple process for recording a terminated easement.

The first step for terminating an easement is to visit the local count clerk's office and finding the Property Document Recording page. This page contains important information, such as the cost and specific requirements for recording. The next step is to draft the document that will serve as a legal notice of the termination. While forms are available online, it is advisable to have the assistance of a real estate attorney to ensure that it complies with local requirements.

Once that has been confirmed, the document must be signed by the person who initially signed the easement. If the person's name is unknown, the county clerk's office can provide the name. Two copies of the signed document should be made and taken to the county recorder's office along with the original. The clerk will need to certify that the copies are exact duplicates and record the original into public record. One of the copies must be delivered to the property owner.

Easements allow people or entities who do not own property to use it, and therefore could interfere with real estate deals when not dissolved correctly as someone else could be seen as still having a claim on the property. An attorney can draft a termination of easement to meet local regulations and prevent unnecessary delays that could be caused from mistakes.

Source: SF Gate, "How to Record a Terminated Easement", Karen Rogers, September 23, 2014

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