Purchasing a Home from a Distance

You’ve Been Named An Executor: What Happens Next?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on You’ve Been Named An Executor: What Happens Next?

If someone has named you to be the executor of their will, it’s probably because they trust you to handle their affairs responsibly and ethically after they’re gone. That’s a big vote of confidence in your abilities. However, if you’ve never been an executor before, you may unclear about what you should do first and how to get started. Take a look at some of the first steps that you need to take to fulfill your duties as an estate executor. Check on the Deceased’s Dependents, Pets, and Home Before you begin worrying about legal documents, your first responsibility is to make sure that the daily responsibilities of the deceased are taken care of. If they have minor children, you may have to make arrangements to transport them to their new guardian. If the person who will be taking care of the children can’t take them immediately, you may have to do so yourself temporarily. If the deceased has pets, you’ll need to find out if they’ve designated someone to take them in as well. If not, you should make sure that they’re taken care of and start looking for a good home for them if you don’t plan to take them in yourself. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the house. Don’t start giving anything away just yet. Just make sure that the home is secure and keep the rent or mortgage and utility bills current. Keep track of any money you spend caring for dependents, pets, and bills. The estate will eventually reimburse you for these expenses, so you want to keep good records. Plan a Burial or Cremation As the person in charge of the deceased’s estate, you’ll also be responsible for planning the burial or cremation and any funeral or memorial service. You should follow the deceased person’s wishes with respect to the disposal of the body and the type of funeral service they would like, if any. During the planning, make sure that you ask the funeral director to order copies of the death certificate for you – this is the easiest way to get the copies that you’ll need for insurance claims, Social Security benefits, banks accounts, and many other things. You will probably need at least ten copies. Unless the deceased had a pre-paid burial or funeral plan, you will need to pay for the burial or cremation and funeral out of your pocket, but you will be reimbursed by the estate later, so you’ll want to keep good records of your expenses. Because funerals can be costly, it’s not uncommon for family members and friends to pool their money to cover the costs. You’ll need to keep track of who contributed what so everyone can be reimbursed accordingly. It will also be your responsibility to notify friends and family of the death and the funeral plans and prepare an obituary for the local paper. You can designate someone to help you with these tasks if you choose – delivering bad news can be upsetting for the messenger, and it’s OK to ask for help if you need it. Get A Court Decree It may surprise you to learn that even though you were named executor in the will, and even though you’ve been the one handling the immediate tasks...

read more

Quitting Is Sometimes For Losers — What You Need To Know About Quitclaim Deeds

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quitting Is Sometimes For Losers — What You Need To Know About Quitclaim Deeds

House hunting can be a very emotional ordeal. You could spend days searching for one that you both afford and also love. And then when you finally discover that hidden jewel, a home that fits most of your criteria and is priced below what you would expect for the neighborhood and its specs, you discover that the buyer only has a quitclaim deed or that the property’s ownership is somehow otherwise attached to a quitclaim deed. But you’re not sure what a quitclaim deed is or how it could affect the sale and potential ownership of a property. So what should you do?  What is a Quitclaim Deed? Quitclaim deeds are typically used to transfer the ownership of a piece of property to someone else without it being sold. So, for example, take the case of a husband and wife who are divorcing, and the wife no longer has any interest in owning a property because the balance of its mortgage loan is more than the fair market value of the house. Although she no longer wants to be associated with the property, the husband wants to continue living in it until the property’s value, hopefully, rises once again. In this situation, she can quitclaim her interest in the house to her husband and, hopefully, be free of the responsibility of owning that house. Why hopefully? Because if her husband decides he can no longer pay for the property, she would still be held responsible for the loan obligation. Quitclaims only affect the title of a property, not the financial obligations tied to them.  The Problems With Quitclaim Deeds The main problem with quitclaim deeds is that anyone can create one for any property, if they choose to do so. For example, a person could quitclaim the Empire State Building to a friend, and that person may think they now own a piece of this iconic property, but in reality he owns nothing. A quitclaim, according to the Times Herald, is not a promise or a warranty that the seller actually owns that property. In addition, if a quitclaim was not recorded properly with the country clerk or the equivalent, the purchase of the house could become messy and the actual ownership of the home could be at question. For example: A parent who has passed away had quitclaimed a property to a child who is now trying to sell the property, but the other children are disputing the quitclaim. If there is no will, and the quitclaim was never recorded, the other siblings may claim they have rights to ownership of the property.   The person owning the property has a quitclaim deed that was not recorded properly, and now it turns out the property is not actually in their name.  You may not be able to get title insurance. If you purchase a property with only a quitclaim deed, you will probably not be able to get title insurance, which protects you against any encumbrances, liens or title defects that may be associated with the property.  Hire a Real Estate Attorney Because there can be problems with purchasing a property that involves a quitclaim deed, it would be in your best interest to hire a real estate attorney who is well versed in these types of deeds and understands...

read more
Menu Title