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Deed for House and Property

 
 
jodie34
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 09:36 pm
When my mother passed away Dad deeded the house to his children. My brother has decided he wants to purchase the house and property for X amount of dollars. All of the siblings agreed and signed the deed and had it notarized but one sibling and she has not signed and has changed her mind. My brother has given us no money so I am not sure of what happens next. Since some of us signed is that a done deal forever . I am not sure if this expires after a certain amount of time if nothing is done with it. Has anyone experienced this kind of problem. This property is in Virginia.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 6,303 • Replies: 27
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 09:59 pm
It's not a done deal until everyone sells. As long as your sister is a holdout, everyone else can back out of the deal too (unless they have contractually committed themselves by selling an option on the property or something). So no one is bound until everyone is bound.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:05 pm
Each sibling should own an equal share of the house, and whether it's a done deal or not depends on how the contract was written up. As for the "sale," no deal is complete without the payment or a schedule of payment in the contract is completed for the sale.

I'm no attorney, but it's based on what I remember from taking business law about ten lifetimes ago.

Seems like an offer was made, but not all the siblings agreed to the sale. That's a whole new ball game with more questions than answers.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:20 pm
What type of deed is it that you signed?

In either case the deed doesn't mean much until it's been recorded and your brother can't do that without your remaining sister's signature.

If it is a warranty deed that then there is usually a time limit where it has to be recorded (usually with the county clerk) within x months of the date it was signed. If not recorded within that time frame the transfer basicly expires and has to be reaccomplished and then recorded to have any effect.

A quit claim deed is a little different.
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jodie34
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:21 pm
Thanks Joe and cicerone

Another question is the sibling that wanted to buy has moved in with dad.
If dad should pass away can he live there as long as he wants without purchasing the property and house since it is deeded to all the siblings in the family. I am sure property tax would have to be paid by each of us.
Would there have to be an agreement with the other siblings for him to live there after dad is gone?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:44 pm
Actually, fishin jiggled my memory of what happened when our mother passed away, and how we handled the transfer of ownership. My sister had to go to the city recorders office, and all of us had to sign that piece of paper before she could take over ownership.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:50 pm
On the issue of living privileges for one of the siblings after the father dies, that's where problems can crop up unless there is understanding by all the siblings on how that will be handled - including not only property taxes, but property insurance and maintenance.

Do it before your dad passes on when emotions are in neutral. We had a sibling meeting after our mother's funeral services, and discussed the issue of our mother's home. I suggested that our sister get 60% and our older brother get 40%; my younger brother and I didn't want any part of it. That's what we agreed upon, so whatever happened afterwards didn't involve me in any way.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jul, 2008 08:18 am
jodie34 wrote:
Thanks Joe and cicerone

Another question is the sibling that wanted to buy has moved in with dad.
If dad should pass away can he live there as long as he wants without purchasing the property and house since it is deeded to all the siblings in the family. I am sure property tax would have to be paid by each of us.
Would there have to be an agreement with the other siblings for him to live there after dad is gone?

It sounds like your dad has a life estate in the property (I know you're not an attorney, so I don't expect you to know all the technical details, but that sort of information can be pretty important). If that's the case, then when he dies the property immediately becomes owned by the siblings -- in equal portions, I presume. If the brother wants to live in the house, he'll need the sibling/co-owners' permission, just as he would in any other situation where he is only a part-owner of a piece of property.

CI's advice is pretty good -- if there are any issues between the siblings regarding ownership of the property, it would be best to take care of them now while your father is still alive. But you didn't ask about that, so I won't go further into that issue.
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jodie34
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 08:37 am
fishin

I am not sure of what kind of deed it was but it did say how much my brother was suppose to pay for the house and property. I would just like to get this probem solved before something happened to dad. There are so many family problems already. I just can't understand why dad had a deed like that when he knows at least two of the children don't ever plan to live there.
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jodie34
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 12:46 pm
A new situation has developed since I last posted. My brother has not bought the house and dad is trying to convince him that he doesn't need to buy the house. He has already moved in with dad and dad has told my brother that if he was him he would not spend one penny on the house. After Mom passed away dad had a deed drawn up and deeded the house to us sibblings and now he is telling my brother if he passed away he could still live in the house and none of us could do anything about it. I am not sure this is correct since the house was deeded to us but dad could live there as long as he lives. Why should one sibbling have it all?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 02:07 pm
If the house has already been deeded to all the siblings, it doesn't matter what the father now says. One sibling cannot legally take over the asset without the approval from all the other siblings. Since all the "other" siblings have majority ownership, you can go to court and get him "kicked out." Another way is to find a good attorney.
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 03:13 pm
Wait a minute . . . . WHEN was the house deeded over to all of the siblings?

Your father must still own the house (rights of survivorship) and when HE dies, THEN the new deed gets filed, naming all the kids as co-owners.

Perhaps he has another will or changed the deed to let brother live there, until the brother dies.

Sit down with Dad and find out what HIS wishes are with this house. Let him know that you feel brother is getting a deal now with him living there and not paying rent. (On the other hand, WHO is taking care and feeding DAD?)

Brother could buy all of you out, if he wants to live there, too, after Dad passes - IF all of you are listed on the deed. OR he may get the whole enchalada!!

In any case, it sounds like there's a asset there, and that means money, and that means confusion.

Find out the facts from Dad, now.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 03:22 pm
I assumed it was included in the father's last will and testament. Unless that's changed, the "deed" doesn't change.
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jodie34
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:11 pm
When a property deed is drawn up is there a time frame that it needs to be signed by all siblings and notarized and then recorded? If my brother is not going to purchase the house and property I would like to have my name removed from the deed where I signed and had notarized? Has anyone ever experienced this situation? If so how would I go about doing this?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:23 pm
I'm not quite sure why you would sign the deed, then decide later to remove your name. I don't think it makes any difference as to your reasons why you wish to have your name removed from the original deed. The reason I say this is because when we agreed to give our sister 60 percent and our older brother 40 percent, we still had to sign the deed when our sister wanted to sell the property. Maybe this answers your question.
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Aug, 2008 07:17 am
The unrecorded deed can sit in the drawer forever. It only beomes "legal" when it is filed at the courthouse.

The notary simply was there to witness the signatures.

What is done with the document afterwards, is the real issue, here.

You can tear that one up and start all over, for that matter.

Sound like there is a lot of confusion here, about what DAD wants to do about his possessions after he passes.

HE needs to sit with a lawyer and get this all decided. He needs a will, for sure - or the court will tie this up forever and no one will get anything.
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jodie34
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Aug, 2008 10:11 pm
cicerone,
I was Ok with signing the deed that my brother had drawn up because he wanted to purchase dad's property and the house. He has gotten most of us to sign the deed and have it notarized. It did state in the deed that he was to pay each sibbling a certain amount for this property. The reason I would like to have my name taken off where I signed and had notarized is because he has seemed to have lost interest in purchasing it. It has been over two months since he got this in the works and is doing nothing with it. I think dad has convinced him that he can live there as long as he wants and he doesn't have to purchase the place. He could not have it recorded unless everyone signs and he would gives us money for our parts. Am I right about that? I think. he thinks that we have given up our right to the property becasue we signed and had it notarized
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 06:44 am
Jodie -

Unless that deed is recorded at the county, it is not in effect. It has no power!

"Notarized" only means the signatures were witnessed by a Notary. It has nothing to do with what will happen to that deed.

What does the current deed (at the county) say?

WHO owns this property NOW, according to the registered deed?
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 08:49 am
jodie34 wrote:
cicerone,
I was Ok with signing the deed that my brother had drawn up because he wanted to purchase dad's property and the house. He has gotten most of us to sign the deed and have it notarized. It did state in the deed that he was to pay each sibbling a certain amount for this property. The reason I would like to have my name taken off where I signed and had notarized is because he has seemed to have lost interest in purchasing it. It has been over two months since he got this in the works and is doing nothing with it. I think dad has convinced him that he can live there as long as he wants and he doesn't have to purchase the place. He could not have it recorded unless everyone signs and he would gives us money for our parts. Am I right about that? I think. he thinks that we have given up our right to the property becasue we signed and had it notarized

This is just getting more and more confusing. It seems that you executed a deed without having a sale. That's backwards: the deed is supposed to come after the sale, not before. It's evidence that the sale has been completed. That might mean that the deed is invalid, but I don't know, because this is just so screwed up. Your dad sold the place but he didn't and he still is living there and he has promised the place to your brother but he doesn't have a will.

Look, jodie, I will give you my expert legal opinion on this matter: it's a complete mess, and you need to consult a lawyer as soon as possible before this gets tied up in probate court for decades. You need to clear up the status of the property, and your dad needs to draft a will.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2008 12:09 am
jodie34 wrote:
Joe

I know this is one big mess. Maybe I am not explaining things very well also. When Mom passed away my dad had the house deeded to all of his children but that he would be able to live there as long as he lives. So the way I understand is that the property already belongs to the children (us).
So my brother is divorced and wanted to move in with dad and he decided he would like to buy the property from us (his siblings). So my brother ask all of us to sign the deed that he drew up and we agreed to sign it all but one sibling. And he hasn't ask her to sign. My brother now seems to have lost interest in purchasing the place . Although we signed the deed he has not paid us any money. If everyone signs the deed can he have it recorded without paying for the property although it stated he was to pay us an X amount of dollars? I really thought after we signed it he would give us the money right away. Should he have paid us before we signed the deed?

Who owned the house before your mother died? Was it solely in her name or was it owned jointly by your parents?

In the vast majority of cases, a married couple owns property jointly in something called a tenancy by the entirety. That means that when one spouse dies, the surviving spouse gets full possession of the property. If that was the case with your parents, then your father was the owner of the house when it was "deeded" to his children.

As I mentioned before, the deed is a legal instrument that shows who is the owner of a piece of property. In other words, it's evidence of a sale, it's not the means by which the sale is effected. It's like a car title: the title is transferred at the time of the sale, but it's not the same thing as the contract for purchase of the car. In order for your father's house to be deeded to his children, there should have been an actual transfer of ownership, apart from the transfer of the deed itself. In your case, I'm just not sure that ever happened.

It sounds like your father wanted to transfer ownership by means of a gift. It's even possible (given that he still is living in the house) that he wanted to transfer ownership by means of a "living trust" (inter vivos trust). I can't tell. It's unusual for someone to give up ownership of a piece of property but maintain possession of it, as your father has done, but it's certainly not unheard of.

What's unusual to me is all of this deed-signing without any consideration (that's legal jargon for money or something else of value) apparently changing hands. Maybe they do things differently in Virginia, but in my experience it's customary to have a separate contract of sale, outlining all of the specifics of the transfer, when property is passed from the seller to the buyer. The deed is really just a formality.

Was there a lawyer involved in any of these transfers? If not, there's a fair chance that the first transfer (from father to children) wasn't effective, which would mean that the second transfer (from siblings to brother) isn't effective either. In that event, the house is still owned by your father, and it would pass to his heirs upon his death. If he doesn't have a will, it would pass by means of statute to his nearest relatives, most probably his children in equal shares.

That's about all I can say on the subject, jodie. You really need to get an attorney who is familiar with real estate law involved in this mess. You and your family may not want to spend the money, but if the property is worth something to all of you, then it's worth protecting. A lawyer who is more knowledgeable about the specifics can best advise you on this matter.
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