- Q: I purchased my property many years ago and am not sure where I have placed the deed to my property, what can I do?
A: The deed you received at the time of purchase or even any subsequent changes you have made would have all been recorded with the County (respective) Recorders Office. Your Real Estate Agent would have access to all and any recorded deeds and should be able to provide you a copy in a timely manner. An original copy of your deed is not necessary as all the recorded deeds on your property are safe housed through the county recorders, with a document recording number.
- Q: I recently refinanced my property and want to make sure that my old loan was properly paid off. Should I have received something from my old Bank?
A: When you refinanced your loan, your new Bank would have paid off your old Bank. This would have been through the Title and Escrow Company that your new lender would have used. However, the old Bank/Lender should issue and recorded a Reconveyance Deed. The Reconveyance is the recorded evidence that the Bank/Lender have been paid and that the loan has been satisfied. Many times the lenders don’t have this recorded in a timely manner. It’s a good idea to check with your Real Estate agent to see if this has been recorded.
- Q: If my name is the only name on our mortgage statement does that mean, I am the only person who is responsible for the loan or is my spouse also responsible?
A: The mortgage statement may not always reflect all the borrowers or responsible parties on the loan. A review of the recorded deed of trust or a review of the note would show who the borrowers are. Sometimes the lender may only have 1 parties name on the mortgage statement, when really both the husband and wife are the borrowers.
- Q: I have a family trust set up and I provided my attorney with the addresses of the properties I own. Is there anything else I need to do with my properties?
A: The creation of a family trust does not automatically convert your Real Estate assets to now being owned by the Trust. There should have been a deed executed by the current owners of the home, putting the Real Property into the trust. There would be a notary involved and then a deed would be recorded with the County Recorders.
- Q: My husband and owned our property for several decades. We owe nothing on our home. But recently my husband passed away. Since we own the property outright, I don’t need to notify anyone of my husband’s passing in regards to my property do, I?
A: The county assessor’s needs to be notified if an owner of a property passes. This can be done through recording an affidavit of death. You would need a notarized document and a certified copy of the death certificate. There are a few different types of Affidavits that can be used. The type you would select would depend on how you were holding title on your last recorded deed.
- Q: I am a divorced man and have a few children I would like to leave my home to, if anything ever happened to me. Can I leave my property to surviving children as long as I have them named in my Last Will?
A: This can be a much more detailed answer but in a nutshell in the state of California if you were holding Title alone your property would be subject to Probate even if you have a Last Will. The Last Will can expedite the Probate process at time of your passing but in most instances your heirs would still need to open a Probate Case. Your attorney may offer the best solution for your particular situation but in most cases a Trust or having your heirs on title with you may alleviate the need for Probate.
- Q: I am married and would like to purchase an investment property alone. The down payment and responsibilities around it would also be solely mine. Is there anything in particular I need to do to achieve this?
A: The state of California has explicit rules around Community Property. A married person is typically presumed to own properties together as husband and wife. If the intent is to own the property as your sole and separate, your spouse would sign, acknowledge and notarize an interspousal or quit claim deed. This would need to take place simultaneously at the time of purchase. Essentially the spouse is signing off or relinquishing their Community Property rights to the property.
- Q: I have had some issues with the IRS and am working through the issues. Can I still sell my home even if I owe money to the IRS?
A: It would depend on the nature of the issues you have with the IRS. If lien has filed and or recorded the effects of the lien would have to be addressed. The lien would need to either have a lien release or an amount determined by the IRS would need to be paid prior to the close of the transaction. If any of the owners on title have an IRS or State Tax lien, the liens would need immediate attention and would need to be resolved prior to the close of the transaction.
- Q: I own a property with a friend, and he has decided that he does not want to own the property any more. We want to avoid the cost and hassle of him selling the property to me. Can I just pay him the money we decided on and can he use a quit claim deed?
A: Most people in this situation think that the exchange of money and a quitclaim deed would suffice. However, there are several things to consider prior to buying out a partner. Both parties want to insure that the effect of the deed would not be questioned later on. An “uninsured” deed is the most common problem. Without the proper process you will be subject to collecting additional documentations and signatures well after the transfer has taken place.
- Q: I would like to add my son to the title of my home, what is the process that is required?
A: Adding someone to title can be done using a Grant Deed. An attorney or other legal professional can assist in drafting the deed. Once the deed is completed and notarized, it will need to be recorded. Once someone is added to title, the action is typically irreversible. So, when someone is added to title this new person has been given rights to the property and those rights cannot be taken back by the original grantor. Sometimes the use of a Trust is a better alternative than simply adding someone to title. Your trusted Real Estate Agent would be able to best advise you on this matter.