If buying or selling land, locating the land deed is extremely important. A land deed determines validity of possession. Without a deed, the landholder could face legal battles for the right to use, insure or construct on the house. Additionally, Linda Ashar's & Sandy Baker’s publication “The Complete Guide to Planning Your Estate in California” explains that a suitable deed will allow for smoother property transition into loved ones upon departure or property intrusion (see Reference 1).
Look for deed documents employing Web-based public records databases. Land deeds are registered at the county level, so you’ll should utilize a public document database which includes county documents along with the usual country records. Most county sites include such databases. If performing an internet search using a website not directly connected with your county of residence, you should always make sure the search directory hyperlinks back to an official county registrar website for verification.
Contact your county recorder or recorder ’s office right if your personal county does not have an internet database. As stated by Online Searches, a website offering free public records searches, most county recorder or registrar’s offices provide searchable public records databases (see Reference 2). But, smaller businesses across the United States may accept only telephone or in-person public records requests.
Request official copies of their land deeds as soon as you have found them. A computer printout or complimentary county registrar photocopy may not hold up in court. For the greatest legal protection to your land, you’ll wish to acquire a notarized copy from the county recorder’s workplace. In most counties you’ll be required to pay a small fee for a formal copy of the deed. Once you’ve paid the fee, copies can be obtained at the registrar’s delivered or office through certified USPS mail.
Hire a lawyer to contest the common-law ownership of your land deed if the official deed does not indicate the real owner. All land in the United States is deeded, and duplicates of these deeds are always documented by the county recorder or registrar. However, the deeds aren’t always updated if preceding land sales or inheritances were handled through improper channels. Once found, a deed can be contested if the land owner isn’t accurately represented on the deed.