QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
My mother passed away recently and there was no will. My father is still living and claims that he has a title to the house/land both he and my mother owned. However, upon checking on the status of this property at the tax office it was discovered that the property was not in their name. When I questioned my father he said that the title was still in the previous owners name and was not yet transferred to his name. He did not tell us the name of the previous owner or show us the title. How can I find out the status of this property?
Thank you for your assistance.
RESPONSE: Dear Valerie Cuffe,
The first step is to acquire a copy of the title at the title’s office. The name at the property tax office might not necessarily be what’s on the title. In some instances the information at the tax office has not been updated.
Provided the property is registered, the title however does give a history of any action done relating to the property. To get the search done for you, you need the names of all possible owners, address, and tax number if you can. Location, and neighouring landmarks can be helpful.
Be mindful that even though there is a tax valuation id, a title may not exist and then an application for the same must be made.