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If three people are on a will and left a house, can two of the three take out a reverse mortgage without the other's consent?

Concord, CA |

My Grandmother left the home my Grandfather built to 3 of her daughters when she passed away 5 years ago. Since then, one of the three daughters has taken out a reverse mortgage on the house. The second of the three signed over her portion to the first, however the thrid was never consulted. How is this possible and what can we do?

Basically, one of my aunts had control of her trust and towards the very end, rewrote almost everything to the point where all the life insurance, the business my grandmother owned, and nearly all of her belongings were left to her. The house some how (thank goodness) was still left to 3 of the sisters, including this one (evil) aunt. The first and second sister are living in the house. The second sister signed over her portion to the first and the third was never consulted. Yes, there was probate and just the first of the sister's is on the deed. However all three should have been put on it.

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

How was title held? This is also strange because reverse mortgages require the person to own and occupy the property. More facts are necessary. What happened after Grandma's death? Was there a probate? If so, what did the order say regarding distribution? If joint tenancy, who was on the deed? Who is living in the house?

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Posted

As my colleague points out, there are several issues here, but based on your additional information, if only one person now has title to the property and met the criteria for a reverse mortgage, she acted within her rights.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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Posted

I have a feeling the mortgage holder would want to get consent from all three, as the two CAN reverse mortgage their own shares, but cannot reverse mortgage the third party's share.

Title is also an issue. Presuming that title was tranferred from a probate to the three as tenants in common, and even if it was held as JTROS, the above analysis would stand. If its something oddball, then the outcome may be different.

Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC

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Posted

If there was a probate case, the result of that case should be the determining factor. In the facts given, it sounds like the result was that only one person was put on title to the property, making her the sole owner. An attorney would have to review the probate case order to determine if a mistake was made somewhere in that process.

The information above should not be considered legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

This matter sounds similar to a previous question. If the house was not distributed as per the probate court orders, then you need to take action against the person who did not do what needed to do. You need to do it now. You need to see an attorney on this.

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7 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. You have a complex situation and you need to consult with a probate attorney who can review all relevant documents. I share Mr. Johnson's sentiments regarding the mortgage lender. I do not know of any lenders that would make a loan that binds less than all owners of the property. This would severely diminish their security. Something does not sound right.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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Posted

A lot makes no sense - A Will means nothing unless it is probated with a court and an Executor issued letters Testamentary giving such party the authority to act for the Estate. Accordingly, a beneficiary could not unilaterally encumber the estate property by putting a mortgage on it and the bank would be looking to deal with the appointed Executor - not a mere beneficiary...so who is the Executor of the estate? That is the party you need to get information from (who has legal duties) and then decide what to do next to protect your interests. This most definitely will require a probate attorney.

My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.

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