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Yet Another Real Estate Problem – Part 2

As I wrote in my post last week, our client is executor of the estate of a decedent who owned 100% of his home – at least that is what the most recent deed shows.  When he found a buyer for the home and the title company did a title search, however, the title company reached a very different conclusion.

The home had been purchased by the decedent’s mother.  She then executed a deed putting her two sons on the deed with her.  They each then owned a 1/3 interest jointly with right of survivorship.  That is how title remained until decedent’s mother died.

No deed was ever recorded removing the mother’s name from the title but a few years after she died decedent’s brother signed a deed transferring his interest to decedent.  That is how title remained at the time of decedent’s death.

The title company concluded that the deed to the brother was invalid because it was dated after the mother’s death.  The company interpreted the deed as transferring the mother’s interest as well even though she obviously never signed the deed.  To add to the set of facts here, the brother died a few months after the decedent.  So, if the title company is correct, then the brother’s 50% interest passes to very different heirs than if the decedent owns 100%

So what is the answer?  I’ll share that with you next week.