By Keith Stevens
As an estate planning attorney, I deal with deeds on a pretty regular basis. I run into a couple issues on a fairly regular basis, so I thought I would share some of the information I find myself telling people on a regular basis. Here's the first part below:
I don't have a copy of my deed!
I don't know what's going on, but I have a large number of clients who have never seen a copy of their deed. Maybe the title company never gave it to them after closing or maybe the bank never released it after the mortgage was paid, but whatever the reason it is surprising that such an important document is often a mystery to a property's owner.
If you want to see proof that you own your land, there are two potential solutions. Some counties in Ohio provide scanned versions of deeds through their auditor's or recorder's websites. While this is neat for some folks, the majority of counties in Ohio do not allow you to view deeds online. If you want a copy, you can instead go down to the county recorder's office in person and pay between 50¢ and $5 to get a photocopy of your deed. Don't worry about it not being an original, a photocopy is just as valid.
Because deeds are part of the public record, you can even ask to see deeds for properties that aren't yours, but remember that this is a truth that cuts both ways.
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