Undoubtedly the most frequent request we get from practicelaw users relates to wanting to edit the Uniform Conveyancing Blanks (UCBs), which are currently available at practicelaw as fillable PDF forms. For the most part, people are looking to add signature lines or increase the space to insert information in the fields within the body of the document. Others, however, want to edit the fixed or “uniform text” to tailor it to their transaction. The text of uniform forms must remain, well, uniform which is why the UCBs are only posted in PDF version.
Practitioners, of course, benefit from uniform conveyancing forms; they essentially establish a “safe harbor.” If you fill them out correctly, they will be accepted for recording. In addition, the uniform forms reflect the combined thinking and years of real property practice experience of the UCB Task Force members.
But one size does not fit all. Often a transaction calls for indivudually tailored forms. The dilemna: any alterations to the UCBs render them non-uniform.
The solution? Starting today, practicelaw is rolling out “ECBs” — Editable Conveyancing Blanks. These are Microsoft Word documents modeled after the UCBs, with some important distinctions:
- We have removed the Uniform Conveyancing Blank “label” and form number that normally appear in the upper right corner of a UCB.
- We have also replaced blank lines in the UCBs with bolded brackets and moved the instructions from the UCBs into the brackets.
- The new forms maintain a similar numbering system, although we have moved the form number to the lower left corner and have removed any decimal points A 2011 ECB form, for example, is modeled after UCB number 20.1.1.
These revisions make it easy for you to tailor the ECBs to your transaction. Also the different format makes it easy to distinguish betweeen the UCBs and the ECBs at a glance.
Like the UCBs, the ECBs are grouped into Series, and one Series will be rolled out every few weeks starting today. The first set, the 20 Series, is now posted on practicelaw. (Note: We did not start with the 10 Series, the Deeds, because the Uniform Conveyancing Blank Task Force is in the process of making some revisions to the Deed Series. We expect these revisions to be approved and the new documents posted within the next few weeks.)
We are excited about this new addition to practicelaw. Now users have a choice. The ECBs strike a nice balance by allowing individualization without compromising the uniformity of the UCBs. Let us know what you think.