Sometimes an owner of property may think they will save some money by preparing their own deed to transfer their ownership interest. Perhaps they just want to add their spouse to the deed, which sounds pretty easy to them. They should not do this unless they have legal knowledge and fully understand what they are doing. Here are some examples of problems that can be created:
You decide to add your minor child to the deed and then decide to sell the property. The minor child does not have the legal capacity to convey an interest in property. You find out that you will need to go to court and have a legal guardian appointed for the child.
You add your spouse to the deed without stating the tenancy. One of the parties dies and the other decides to sell the property. The surviving spouse assumes they automatically inherited the property at the death of their spouse and only finds out they did not a week before the closing was to take place. You will need to file probate which will take months and perhaps cost you your sale.
You prepare your own deed and fail to have owners release rights of homestead.
You prepare your own deed and leave out some of the names, use the wrong names, fail to include a trustee certificate, fail to get park owner consent, the deed is not properly acknowledged or executed.
There are many ways to create title issues when you don’t fully understand the process. Contact us and we can see that your deed is prepared properly.
Wire fraud is on the rise everywhere and the Federal Reserve is being asked to take a more proactive role in preventing it, especially as it relates to real estate transactions. Two key points are:
1. All parties involved in the real estate transaction need to help educate customers on the dangers of wire fraud and on the ways to protect data and funds. For example, by encouraging consumers to call their known reputable source at a verified number to verify instructions before transmitting funds.
2. Financial institutions on the receiving end should match not only the account number but also the payee’s name when there is a wire transfer. Oftentimes fraudulent wire instructions will say the transfer is to be sent to the attorney’s trust account, for example, but instead it goes to the criminal’s personal account as beneficiary.
If you intend to wire funds to us and suspect anything may be wrong with the instructions, please phone us to verify. If we have sent you instructions and you suddenly receive an email asking you to wire to a different account, phone us to verify. We have only (1) IOLTA account, so we will never change our instructions and ask you to wire to a different account.
Clients have begun to inquire about transferring firearms in their estate planning. Unique rules and procedures apply to certain firearms – such as NFA firearms, even in estate planning. Limited liability companies (LLC’s) were once the preferred method, but LLC’s require annual maintenance fees to the state and even separate tax returns. Now, “gun trusts” that are prepared as part of an estate plan can be used to pass on the trust creator’s firearms after their death. Prepared separate from a conventional revocable trust, a gun trust may provide access to more people than the original owner, may provide for changes in the law over time, and may require trustees that are more likely to be knowledgeable of firearms and the legal requirements that surround them. A gun trust will not pass on other assets, only the guns, and a separate conventional trust is still needed for other assets. Using a gun trust can provide for the legal, safe transfer of NFA firearms and even keep those weapons in trust for several generations.
Written by J. Kirk Trombley, Esq.