My divorced & deceased in-law left some money to my spouse. We bought a home with the money & let my "single", senior in-law have complete title ownership to the home we all live in. For fear that she will point a finger at us & accuse us of "abusing an elderly person", we have basically let her do whatever she wants. I am the only one working - we don't have much in savings anymore. So she wants us to take out an equity loan for a costly repair/remodel she wants done. We don't want to (even if we could), & told her we can't because the house is in her name. She is trying to Quit Claim the house to all 3 of us. The 2 of us are looking to move out instead. We are worried that she will be able to Quit Claim & record, without us signing that we want it, & we will be in debt for what she does.
I agree with the other attorney's comments. As a general rule any type of deed is not effective to convey an ownership interest unless the Grantee, in this case that would be you and your wife, agree to "accept" the deed. If the in-law were to record a quit claim deed you could cause a document to be recorded disclaiming your acceptance. More importantly, however, you will not be obligated on any debt or loan taken out by the in-law unless you agree and sign loan documents with the lender, even if you were a co-owner of the house. The in-law can borrow against her interest, and incumber her interest, but she cannot obligate or encumber the interest of any other co-owner unless they have agreed.
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A quit claim deed grants any interest that she may have to the grantee; it will not transfer the obligations associated with the property. You could always disavow the transfer, even if it is recorded, but I can't imagine any scenarios -- other than some environmental related claims (e.g. there's a need for cleanup of the property down the road, where you would even need to do that.
If you are the owner of the property, via a QCD, and don't pay the mortgages or taxes, it will likely be foreclosed, but if you haven't signed anything, you won't have liability.
My advice, of course, is general and based on very little knowledge of your personal situation, and I am licensed to practice law only in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. You should retain legal counsel and review you situation with him or her, if it has significant financial or other implications. <a href="http://www.haolaw.com" target="_blank">Visit www.haolaw.com!</a>
I agree with both previous answers and I would advise all the parties to sit down with a lawyer who can explain the realities of the situation so you may all get along or go your seperate ways with full knowledge.
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