Why is it important to have a properly recorded deed? Once you sign your deed, your property is considered transferred from the seller to the buyer. However, in order for you to be covered to protect yourself from future claims on the title, you should record the deed. At Sinclair Prosser Gasior, we often prepare revocable living trusts for estate planning purposes. We prepare a new deed for your property to be transferred from your individual name to the name of your trust. After the deed is signed, the deed must be recorded with the Register of Deeds in the County where the property is located.
Some counties require that all water bills are paid before a deed can be recorded. These counties often charge an additional fee for a lien certificate stating that all open water bills have been paid. Property taxes must also be paid for the county to accept a deed to be recorded. We hold deeds from July 1st until October 1st each year in order for the property taxes to be paid. Each county collects a fee to properly record a deed.
The deed must contain the tax identification number (TIN) for your property. You can find this number on the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation’s website. A complete legal description of the property is obtained from the prior document on that parcel. Our office does not perform title searches to obtain legal descriptions. We can access a website to retrieve your current deed for your Maryland property. All out of state deeds must be provided to us by the client. We do not have access to out of state databases. The deed must also contain the return mail address on the face of the document. This is important because all tax bills will be mailed to this address.
For estate planning purposes, when we prepare deeds transferring property from an individual owner to the trustee of the trust, no recordation or transfer taxes apply. This language must appear on the deed to expedite recording. Our office will handle the paperwork required to accompany the deed to be recorded. We request that all originals deed be returned directly to our clients. The county is required to return the original deed to you.
We process many deeds for our clients and out of state attorneys. It is usually an efficient process for a deed to be recorded and then returned to you by the county. After you receive your original deed, you will see the Liber and folio stamped usually on the top of the deed. This is the book and page number where your deed is recorded in land records. You need to keep your original deed in a safe place even though it is officially recorded in land records. As with all original documents, you should make sure that someone knows where you are storing your original documents – a safe deposit box or a safe at home. It will make for a smoother process upon your death if the original documents are located as soon as possible.
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