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
The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.
Real Estate Attorney
If you want to close don't you want all the sellers to join in the conveyance to ensure that you have full title to the real estate without exception?
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.
Please be sure to indicate the best answer. If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Only. If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes
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).
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. Please click "helpful" or "best answer" if my answer added any value or add a "comment" if you have more info for me to help you get a better answer.