For lawyers practicing in the areas of real estate, contract, and civil litigation, there are a couple of statutory amendments recently enacted by the Kentucky legislature that are important to understand and remember.
First, KRS 382.135 is a statute governing the requirements for the contents of a deed in Kentucky. KRS 382.135(1) was amended in 2016 to require that, in addition to several items of information previously required and any other requirement imposed by law, a deed shall contain “[t]he full name of the grantor and grantee…” This led to some confusion and, perhaps, disagreement as to what constituted the “full name” of an individual or a business entity for purposes of the statute.
So, earlier this year (for deeds filed after an effective date of June 29, 2017), the legislature further amended the statute to clarify this issue, adding an additional subsection, KRS 382.135(6). This new subsection states that the full name of an individual is “determined as provided in KRS 355.9-503(1)(d) and (e).” The referenced statute is from Kentucky’s version of the Uniform Commercial Code, specifically Article 9 of that Code dealing with secured transactions and, here, specifically the requirements for effective financing statements.
The amendment therefore now defines the “full name” for individual grantors or grantees who have an unexpired Kentucky driver’s license as being their full names as they appear on their driver’s license. For those individual grantors and grantees without an active Kentucky driver’s license, “full name” is defined as the individual name of the debtor or the surname and first personal name of the debtor. The amendment further provides that the full name of a business entity grantor or grantee is the same as its real name as defined in KRS 365.015. For a detailed recent article on Kentucky’s Assumed Name statute, see the September issue of the Kentucky Bench & Bar magazine.
Whether for fairly routine deed preparation or review purposes, or for deeds required as part of a more complex transaction or series of transactions, attorneys should consider whether obtaining and maintaining photocopies of driver’s licenses of individual grantors and grantees (and noting their expiration dates) is good practice in order to prevent rejection of filings or later title issues.
Second, it is a good idea to remind ourselves of the Kentucky legislature’s amendment in 2014 of KRS 413.160, which reduced the statute of limitations for “actions upon a written contract” to ten (10) years from the accrual of the cause of action from the prior fifteen (15) years under KRS 413.090(2). By its terms, the amendment applies to contracts “executed after July 15, 2014.” Analysis of contract disputes regarding Kentucky contracts executed in the last few years should likely begin with a verification of which limitations period applies.
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