Most people have middle names. Some hate them, some love them, some even use them instead of their first names. However, despite where you stand on your middle name, it is always recommended that you use your full name on legal documents and registrations, especially when you are doing a land transaction.

I often get questions as to why I need someone's middle name for registration on title and the answer is relatively simple. To avoid getting tagged with the issues of someone else with a similar name.

In Saskatchewan, our land titles registry and our judgment registry "talk" to each other, with the judgment registry constantly reviewing the land registry for any new registrations that might come in with a name matching a name that appears on the land registry. In many cases, when someone is listed on the judgment registry, the registrant will register both a full name (i.e. "John Henry Doe") as well as the shortened version (i.e. "John Doe") to try to make sure that they catch any property that might be registered in the judgment creditor's name.

What this means is if your name is John Michael Doe and you decide that you want to use "John Doe" instead, the judgment registry is going to flag your name when land titles tries to register your name, with the result that the judgments registered against the other John Doe will appear on your title. There are steps that can be taken to get those writs off, but it is easier to avoid them in the first place by using your full name.

Additionally, while the judgment registry will not automatically register a new judgment against existing titles, in many cases, the judgment creditor will do so themselves. So, by having your full name on title, you would again avoid having to do additional paperwork to have this writ removed (unless of course the judgment debtor happens to have the exact same name as you.)

To help with the process, start using your middle name on documents relating to land from the very start (mortgage application or purchase documents) to save from having to change it later on.

If you have any questions or happen to have someone else's writ appearing on your title, the McKercher LLP Real Estate Team would be happy to assist.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.