Many of our clients contact me weeks after we complete their estate plan to inquire about a notice they receive in the mail. The mailer will say "Recorded Deed Notice" at the top and states that if the homeowner pays a certain fee (e.g., $86.00 or $95.00), they will be get "a Property Assessment Profile Report along with a complimentary copy of their current Grant Deed or other record of title" in return. Clients normally get this notice after transferring real property to their revocable trust, or in regard to other transfers of land.
This notice looks official initially. In fact, it looks very similar to a county tax form. However, if you read carefully at the top, it says that it "has not been approved or endorsed by any governmental agency, and this offer is not being made by an agency of the government."
In most cases, you don't need to pay for this service. Our clients get their original grant deeds back from the County once they are recorded. Copies can be obtained from our office for free. Certified copies of grant deeds can be obtained from the County Recorder's Office for a small fee. Our office also works closely with a property database supplied by First American Title Company in which we have access to property reports. Thus, there is no reason to pay for this service.
If you have questions about this notice, property reports or estate planning in general, please contact our office at 650-727-0900.