How to rid ex-spouse’s name from real estate title

DEAR BOB: When Igot divorced in 2001, I was awarded the house that my ex-husband and I held injoint tenancy. At that time, he signed a quitclaim deed to me, which Irecorded. I later refinanced the mortgage in my name alone. How can I be surethe house is 100 percent mine? –Sandra N.

DEAR SANDRA: Whenyou recorded the quitclaim deed from your husband to you, presuming there wasnothing irregular about that document, that should have removed his name fromthe title to your house.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

You candouble-check by contacting the title insurance company that issued the lender’stitle policy at the time you refinanced. By checking the file, you can bereassured you are the sole owner of the property. It would have been veryunusual for a mortgage lender to refinance in your name alone if you weren’tthe sole owner of the home.


DEAR BOB: My motherpassed away about a year ago. In her will, she left the title to her house tomy son, now age 15, of whom she was very fond. She taught him to play the pianoand he enjoyed playing her piano, sometimes for hours. He also helped her withchores around her house. After she passed, we were very surprised her will lefther house to our son. Fortunately, we were able to find a rental tenant andthere is no mortgage so the rent pays the expenses. The estate attorney saysour son can’t sell the house until he becomes 18. Is this true? –Everett D.

DEAR EVERETT: Yes.Minors can receive title to real estate, but they can’t convey title.

If it should becomenecessary to sell the house, the local court will have to appoint anindependent guardian to represent your son. The sales proceeds would probablybe held in trust until he becomes 18.

Although I’m suregrandma meant well, she probably didn’t realize the possible adverse legalconsequences of leaving her house to your minor son. Hopefully, it won’t becomenecessary to sell the house before he becomes 18. Then he can decide whether tokeep or sell the property.


DEAR BOB: Myhusband and I bought our condo in 1999. In 2000 we had to pay a $15,500 specialassessment for replacement of outdoor wall siding and roofs. Now we anticipateanother large special assessment to update hallways and elevators. When we sellour condo, can we deduct these special assessments? –Chris L.

DEAR CHRIS: No. Butyou can add your special assessments to the adjusted cost basis of your condo.The result is to reduce the amount of your capital gain. For more details,please consult your tax adviser.

The new RobertBruss special report, “The 20 Essential Questions Smart Home Buyers MustAsk to Avoid Overpaying in a Buyer’s Market,” is now available for $5 fromRobert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet delivery at Questions for this columnare welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006Inman News

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