What is a Register of Deeds?

By Jedidah McKeehan

One of the weird terms we have in the legal field is the term, “Register of Deeds.”  What in the world does this term mean that gets thrown around so regularly?

The Register of Deeds is an elected county position.  Quite literally, it means that the elected official is the person who will register your deeds.  Most register of deeds’ offices have expanded to include more than just one person; however, their job remains the same.

The Register of Deeds’ Office in each county is the official record keeper of legal documents pertaining to real property in that county.  The normal documents that get recorded at the Register of Deeds include:  Warranty Deeds, Quitclaim Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Releases, Powers of Attorney, Liens and other documents.

The job that the Register of Deeds office does is incredibly important.  If a piece of property has been conveyed from one person to another by deed, it has not officially happened until the deed has been recorded at the Register of Deed.

Many of the Register of Deeds’ offices have updated their services to where you are able to record documents online.

When you record documents at the Register of Deeds, there is a filing fee that you will have to pay to record the documents you desire to have recorded.

What else does the Register of Deeds do other than record documents?  Because of all of the documents recorded at the Register of Deeds are public record, they are open for anyone to review who desires to do so.  You will often find surveyors, title attorneys, and other individuals at the Register of Deeds using their computers to research ownership interests and property descriptions of properties.

 

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.

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