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What CA case law or CA codes support the legal property description controls rather than address, in a deed or deed of trust?

San Francisco, CA |

What if any, California codes or case law support that a legal property description controls rather than an address or APN in a deed, grant deed, or deed of trust?

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Attorney answers 3


The general answer to your question can be found in Civil Code Section 1092, which provides as follows:

1092. A grant of an estate in real property may be made in
substance as follows:

"I, A B, grant to C D all that real property situated in (insert
name of county) County, State of California, bounded (or described)
as follows: (here insert property description, or if the land sought
to be conveyed has a descriptive name, it may be described by the
name, as for instance, "The Norris Ranch.')

Witness my hand this (insert day) day of (insert

The operative part of this statute is that the property description must be in the transfer. In other words, there is no legal requirement that you identify the property address or APN of the property in order to have a valid transfer. The only thing you need is the property description.

For example, I had a deed returned from a County Recorder because the legal description was inaccurate, even though the property address and APN were accurate. A much earlier deed had incorrectly identified the Lot number in the legal description, which actually described the adjacent property. I used that legal description for the new transfer. The earlier deed had been accepted for recordation by the Recorder in that county, which they admitted to me was an error on their part. A correction deed was necessary to get the title transferred, and I also prepared and filed a Quitclaim Deed so that the legal title of the adjacent property was not impaired in any way.

Please remember to mark what you believe to be the best answer to your question. This answer is provided by estate planning attorney Robert P. Bergman, with offices in San Jose, California. Mr. Bergman is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization), and has been practicing since 1980. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is only intended to provide general legal advice within the limits of the question asked. If you wish to create an attorney-client relationship for specific legal advice, it will be necessary to enter into an engagement for legal services. More general legal information about wills, living trusts, and estate planning can be found at Mr. Bergman's main website at, or his information website at Mr. Bergman also offers free living trust seminars and wealth preservation seminars at his offices in San Jose. For those unable to attend a live seminar, an online living trust seminar may be viewed or downloaded at


California Civil Code section 1092. For a discussion on this topic, refer to the case of Edwards v. Santa Paula (1956) 138 Cal.App.2d 375, 292 P.2d 31, 1956 Cal App LEXIS 2373.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


I believe Attorney Bergman has given you a solid answer.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.