For a deed to be legally valid and operative, the property intended to be conveyed should be described with certainty. This is to help identify it and distinguish it from other property of the same kind. If the property being conveyed by the deed is not clearly described in the granting clause of the deed, the deed becomes inoperative. Additionally, if the portion in the deed where description of property is to inserted is left blank and the deed is inoperative. The sole fact that grantor has signed the deed, but left the description blank does not imply that grantor has given grantee the right to fill in description of the property. Generally, a signed deed with the description blank but where authority to fill in the descriptive language is conveyed to the grantee is operative from the time the grantee actually fills in those details.
A deed does not become inoperative if any erroneous fact is added to the description, as long as details of property given in a deed are sufficient to identify the property intended to be conveyed[i]. In states like Alabama, when the description of property conveyed is ambiguous, courts will look into surrounding circumstances to identify the property[ii].
[i]Farmers’ Loan & T. Co. v. Eno, 35 F. 89, 91 (C.C.D.N.Y. 1888)
[ii] Henderson v. Noland, 238 Ala. 213 (Ala. 1939)