Removal of Old Lien May Require Quiet Title Action

By Christopher Combs | December 13, 2015

 Removal of Old Lien May Require Quiet Title Action   Question: In 2005, my sister deeded her home in Glendale to me and my wife. My sister recently died, and we want to sell this home. We thought that the title to this home was free and clear because the mortgage was paid off years ago. The title commitment, however, shows that in 1994 my sister recorded a lien on her home in favor of a bonding company to keep her son out of jail on a drug charge. The bonding company is no longer in business. How can we…


Taxes on Gift to Relative are Paid at Death

By Christopher Combs | December 6, 2015

 Taxes on Gift to Relative are Paid at Death   Question:  My granddaughter and her family live in a home that I own in Cottonwood.  I have been paying the mortgage payments, property taxes, repairs, and other costs of the home for the past two years because my granddaughter has been sick and unable to work.  These costs of the home are approximately $30,000 per year.  Can I deduct these costs from my income taxes?  If I give the Cottonwood home to my granddaughter, will my granddaughter have to pay gift taxes?   Answer:   You are not using the Cottonwood…


Decree Wording Helps Ex-wife Get New Home Loan

By Christopher Combs | October 4, 2015

  Question:  In a recent column you said that an ex-wife would not be able to qualify for a mortgage loan for a new home in Chandler, even though the ex-husband in the divorce decree was awarded the family home and agreed to be 100 percent responsible for the mortgage loan on the family home.  Under similar circumstances, however, I was able to qualify for a mortgage loan to buy a new home.  My mortgage lender used similar language in my divorce decree to remove any liability for the old mortgage loan from my credit reports.  Just thought that you…


Adult-care Facility Should Have no Claim

By Christopher Combs | September 20, 2015

  Question:  Unlike my two brothers, I have taken care of my ill mother for many years.  Five years ago she moved into an adult care facility, and she deeded her Scottsdale home to me in gratitude.  My mother’s savings have now been exhausted, and she owes the adult care facility a large amount of money.  Does the adult care facility have a claim against this Scottsdale home?   Answer:  Probably not.  If the deed to the Scottsdale home from your mother was not made with the intent to defraud creditors, and the value of the services rendered to your…


Terms of Trust Direct Ownership of Real Estate

By Christopher Combs | August 16, 2015

  Question: In a recent column you said that the deed to a home owned by a husband and wife must contain specific language for the surviving spouse to become the 100% owner of the home without probate. You said that the language that should be used on the deed is “community property with right of survivorship.” We own our home in Sun Lakes in a family revocable trust that is named on the deed. Both of us are the trustees and the beneficiaries of this family revocable trust. If we want the surviving spouse to be the 100 percent…


Deed of Home to Son Can Probably be Rescinded

By Christopher Combs | August 2, 2015

  Question:  After my husband died I became the sole owner of our Surprise home which we owned free and clear.  Two years ago my granddaughter got in a bad automobile accident with no medical insurance.  My son said that if I deeded my home to him, he could get a mortgage on my home to pay for these medical bills.  After I deeded my home to my son he got a $60,000 mortgage on my home, but now has used most of the mortgage money for drugs and partying, and not for my granddaughter’s medical bills.  I am very…


Special Power of Attorney Can be Used in Selling Condo

By Christopher Combs | June 7, 2015

  Question:  My brother is going on a two-year mission in Africa for our church.  He wants to give me a power of attorney to sell his Scottsdale condominium.  Do we need a power of attorney?  If so, how do we get a power of attorney?   Answer:  In the internet age, I question whether your brother needs to give you his power of attorney.  I would suggest that your brother list his Scottsdale condominium with a competent real estate broker before he leaves for his mission.  The real estate broker and the title company should generally be able to…