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REAL ESTATE PLANNING ARTICLES

Revocable Living Trust Preferred over Transfer Deeds, Will

By Christopher Combs | March 19, 2019

Question:  At the time my husband died five years ago we jointly owned our home in Arizona, plus a rental home in California and 160 acres of land in Montana.  I then became the sole owner of these three properties. I am not in good health now, and I have drafted deeds to these properties to be delivered to my two sons.  My sister says that I should not sign and give these deeds to my two sons, but that I should transfer the three properties to my two sons in a will.  Do you have any suggestions? Answer:  If you deed…

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It’s Best to Exchange Deed, Money at Same Time

By Christopher Combs | March 13, 2019

Question:  Ten years ago, I bought a home with my boyfriend in Sunnyslope.  We broke up three years later, and he moved to Colorado to be a ski instructor.  At that time I paid him $15,000 for his interest in the home, and he promised that he would give me a deed to the home.  Just like all of his other promises, I never got a deed.  Last week his mother said that he died in a car accident.  Although I do not want to sell the home now, will I have a problem selling the home in the future?…

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Transferring a Mobile Home Through Beneficiary Deed

By Christopher Combs | November 22, 2017

Transferring a Mobile Home Through Beneficiary Deed   Question: I am a senior citizen who lives on Social Security in a mobile home in Florence. My mobile home is my only significant asset, and I want my daughter to have the mobile home when I die. I read your column about beneficiary deeds that can transfer a home without any probate. I wonder if I could use a beneficiary deed to transfer my mobile home to my daughter when I die?   Answer: A mobile home itself is personal property. If your mobile home is affixed to your land, however, the mobile…

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Transferring a Mortgage

Transferring a Mortgage after Death of Parent

By Christopher Combs | October 16, 2017

Transferring a Mortgage after Death of Parent   Question: In a recent column you wrote about a mother being able to transfer her Sun City home to her daughter either by beneficiary deed or by a small probate affidavit. If there is a mortgage on the Sun City home at the time of the mother’s death, will the daughter have to pay off the mortgage immediately?   Answer: Probably not. Although most mortgages have a standard due-on-sale clause that requires the mortgage balance to be paid off immediately upon any transfer of the home, most mortgages are governed by federal…

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Probate Preferred Over Beneficiary Deed If HOA Transfer Fee

By Christopher Combs | September 6, 2017

Probate Preferred Over Beneficiary Deed If HOA Transfer Fee   Question: In a recent column you discussed the advantage of a mother executing and recording a beneficiary deed to her daughter for a Sun City home. The advantage was that the daughter, without the necessity and cost of a probate, would be the owner of the Sun City home upon the mother’s death. In Sun City, however, there is a $4,000 transfer fee paid to the HOA that is generally due upon the transfer of a Sun City home. This $4,000 transfer fee can be avoided by probate of the…

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Termination of Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

By Christopher Combs | June 4, 2017

Termination of Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship   Question:  My daughter and her boyfriend have lived together in a Peoria home for almost 15 years. The deed says joint tenants with right of survivorship.  In other words, if one of them dies the survivor was to get the home. They have shared the costs of the mortgage and the maintenance of the home. Her boyfriend has been very sick with diabetes this last year. Without telling my daughter, the boyfriend signed a deed to the home to his 22-year-old daughter. Who owns the home now? What happens if the…

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How to Transfer Property Out of Trust for Beneficiary Deed

By Christopher Combs | February 22, 2017

How to Transfer Property Out of Trust for Beneficiary Deed   Question: My mother is the trustee of her revocable living trust (“RLT”), and I am the sole beneficiary. The only asset in the RLT is my mother’s Sun City home. My mother wants to execute a beneficiary deed to me for her home which will not be effective until her death. Can my mother, as the trustee of her RLT, execute a beneficiary deed to me? Or does my mother, as the trustee of her RLT, first have to deed the home to herself individually, and then execute a beneficiary deed to me…

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Revocable Living Trusts in Arizona

By Christopher Combs | August 22, 2016

Question: My parents had an attorney draft a revocable living trust more than 20 years ago. In this revocable living trust my sister and I were the co-trustees and the co-beneficiaries. My parents transferred, by a deed, their Chandler home into this revocable living trust. Since that time my sister has had significant drug problems, and has become estranged from my parents. Three years ago, and with the help of the Internet, my parents drafted a second revocable living trust which named me as the sole trustee and the sole beneficiary. Both of my parents have recently passed away. Inasmuch…

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