How Do I Know If My Deed Has Been Recorded Properly?

Understanding Its Importance

In Missouri, all deeds for real estate must be properly recorded with the county’s recorder of deeds in order to be legally valid.  I often have clients bring me deeds which haven’t been properly recorded with the recorder of deeds.  They don’t realize that the deeds haven’t actually conveyed the property to them. 

Prompt recording is very important when it comes to creating a beneficiary deed.  A beneficiary deed will transfer real property to one or more beneficiaries upon your death, but only if it is properly recorded.  Unlike a warranty deed or quitclaim deed, a beneficiary deed must be recorded before the grantor (owner of the property) passes away.  It is always unfortunate when I have to tell people that their parents or loved ones tried to avoid probate and leave them real property but were ultimately unable to because the beneficiary deed was never recorded.

Recorded quitclaim deeds, warranty deeds and beneficiary deeds will all have a sticker, stamp or seal which indicates that they have been filed with the recorder of deeds.  This marking will typically be near the top on the first page of the deed. 

From what I’ve seen, when a quitclaim deed, warranty deed or beneficiary deed goes unrecorded, it is often because a person tried to create the deed without consulting an attorney or because the hired attorney or title company that was used did not record the deed for them.  When you hire an attorney, it is very important to make sure that you know who is responsible for recording the deed.  If you retain my services, I will make sure that your beneficiary deed, quitclaim deed or warranty deed is properly recorded and that you receive a copy of that deed for your records.

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