After paying the property taxes on several city lots for more than 30 years, what family members own the property?

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After paying the property taxes on several city lots for more than 30 years, what family members own the property?

My side of the family has been paying property taxes on several city lots for over 3 decades. When my great-grandmother died, my grandfather paid the taxes, then my mother and now me. Some of my relatives wish for me to sell the properties and then we’ll split the proceeds but I contend that if they haven’t paid any of the taxes nor do they wish to reimburse any of the old taxes, that they have no rights to the land. The deed to the properties have been lost over the decades. How do I go about getting clear ownership?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

Joseph Gasparrini

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

To begin with, it appears that you are not sure who actually owns the property.  You mention that the deed has been lost.  However, deeds are typically recorded on the county land records (in Connecticut, where I practice law, deeds are recorded on the municipal land records).   Your first step must be to arrange for a title search to be performed in order to determine who exactly holds title to the property.  In order to get a title search you should either contact a qualified real estate lawyer or a title insurance compay.  A lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your rights and the rights of your relatives with respect to property tax obligations and other property rights after you determine who owns title to the property.


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