Legal Descriptions

A Legal Description is a written description of a parcel of land and is often accompanied by a visual Exhibit. These Descriptions and Exhibits can be required for a multitude of reasons and it is the Land Surveyors responsibility to insure that they are descriptive enough, form mathematically closed figures and that there is a sufficient amount of information to allow those relying on the descriptions to both locate and identify the described parcel on the ground.

The most common use of a legal description is to convey property and it should be as descriptive as possible to allow its "intent" to be perfectly clear. It should also be used in every deed of conveyance within the chain of title for a parcel of property. The deed description is in contrast to other identifiers of property such as the street address or assessors parcel number. While these items may help to identify the property, it does not constitute a legal description.

Other uses of a Legal Description may be to describe certain encumbrances such as easements. In this case the description should still be be just as well worded and descriptive as if it was being used for a deed. This will insure that those parties relying on it can be confident that the described parcel is in the same place today as it is 100 years from now.