An 80 year old man is selling us his house. His wife died and the house may be owned by her trust. We are being asked to sign an addendum adding his daughter as the 2nd seller of this home a week before closing. Up to this point, he has been the only Seller on the real estate contract. Will this have any ramifications for us as the future owners of this home?
Estate Planning Attorney
I wouldn't want to answer this question without reviewing all the relevant documents including any trust that may be involved. See an attorney if you want to be sure that this is the correct thing to do. It may well be OK but it is impossible to say that without reviewing the transaction and talking to the people that are involved. It may also be that the daughter doesn't has to be listed as a seller, but just has to create some type of document consenting to the sale which gets recorded. I have done lot's of sales involving property previously owned by a deceased person and it really boils down to making sure that you record the proper documentation and affidavits that support that chain of title and the transfer for all parties with an ownership interest. For the transactions I do I request that the sale be done with a title company that has a house counsel that I can work with. Usually the in house attorney for the title company and I review and discuss what documents we need to close the transaction. http://www.portlandlegalservices.com
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Real Estate Attorney
I agree with both previous answers and would caution you to check the title on the property at once. If the daughter's trust owns the property your deal may have be completely rewritten with the trustee.
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Is a simple matter normally handled by your attorney who would have ordered an abstract of title early in the process. This would tell you exactly who is on the currently registered deed -- who are the lawful sellers. BUT -- if the deed has a husband (living) and wife (deceased) listed as joint owners (JOWROS) then by operation of law the surviving spouse is the sole legal owner (seller) of the home. CONVERSELY -- if it happened that the deed was not joint ownership but, instead 50/50 tenants in common between husband and wife (deceased) then you got some work to do. An estate deed will be required to properly convey the 50% that was not owned by husband. Given your comments about a daughter and wife trust I think this is what you may have here and, therefore, if daughter is a beneficiary of deceased Mom's 50% interest then your attorney and title company will need to work through the proper affidavits and deeds to be executed by the executor for deceased mother (which may be the daughter as well).
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