In the recent years, businesses and organizations have converted to digital (paper-less) instead of paper documentation. Although this is useful for future transactions and events, it causes problems for those that still have paper documentation lying around. Here is a story to remind you why it is important to keep track of all paper documentation that you have.
Charlotte passed away a few years ago but granted her son James the right to live in her estate (two parcels of land with a house on one) for as long as he desired. James decided earlier this year that he was ready to move to a new home. All of Charlotte’s children decided it was time to sell her estate, as no one needed it anymore and it was not necessary to hold onto the property or the land.
Charlotte’s daughter Leslie contacted a real estate agent to prepare the property for sale. In this process, the title company could not find record of ownership for the second parcel of land. Charlotte’s children were positive that their mother owned the land, as they had been paying taxes on it ever since they could remember (the county even verified that they had paid the taxes on the land, but still did not have record of ownership).
Discouraged but still determined to get out of the house, Charlotte’s children set to clear out the remainder of family belongings in the house. In the process of clearing out the attic, they found an old, dusty suitcase. In the case they found newspapers, pictures and the DEED to both parcels of land. The deeds were so old and delicate that they were worried about the paper going through a copy machine, so they took it right down to the county office to show proof of ownership.
After some time, and transferring the document through six people, they were updated to be the owners of the land and were given the right to sell both parcels.
The moral of the story: Keep your documents in a safe place.