Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Several years ago, the Secretary of State's Office organized the Address Confidentiality Program which was designed to protect individuals who were the objects of stalkers. A person enrolled in the program would be assigned a post office box at the Secretary of State's office and all references to the person's address - on a driver's license, phone and utility bills, school registration, etc - would list that post office box. The group that designed the program considered whether Registry of Deeds records should be included but decided that they should not. Our system of land ownership depends on the accuracy of the records at the registry. If some are "blacked out" or kept separately, an element of doubt would be injected into an otherwise reliable system. The only way to own real estate without having your name appear in the very public records at the registry would be to create a trust, name someone else as the trustee (with you as the beneficiary - the names of the beneficiaries are not recorded), and then have the real estate you are buying conveyed into the trust. It's complicated, but it would keep your name out of our records.

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