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Can a Quitclaim Deed be contested?

Discussion in 'Quitclaim Deeds' started by bogus123, Aug 18, 2014.

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  1. bogus123

    bogus123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My wife's Aunt and grandmother bought a home together and had a quitclaim deed prepared. When the grandmother passed away, the aunt claimed the home and had another quitclaim deed prepared naming herself, her mother (I'm assuming because she was on the original deed), my wife and my sister-in-law with right of survivorship. The documents were prepared by a lawyer and registered with the county clerk's office. Since this time, my sister-in-law passed away from A.L.S. and now the aunt has passed leaving only my wife as a listed survivor on the quitclaim deed. My wife has county stamped original copies of death certificates for all other listed persons on the deed. Can this quitclaim deed be contested in probate court and if so, is there a timeframe for it? We hired an attorney to verify no leans or unpaid tax's on the property prior to my wife claiming the home.
     
  2. fredrikklaw

    fredrikklaw Moderator

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    BOGUS123...

    A Quit Claim Deed is of course the simplest and fastest legal process by which a person can transfers his interests (Grantor) in real property to another person (Grantee) for no financial consideration, making this the ideal process for transferring title and ownership from one family member to another.

    But the downside of this no-frill transfer is that unlike a General Deed or a Special Deed, it offers no warranties or guarantees that the owner (grantor) had absolute good and clear title to the property in question; because it merely transfers to grantee whatever INTERESTS the grantor had in the property at the time of the execution of the deed including any liens or encumbrances, and which is why you hired an attorney to conduct a title search to see if there are any liens or adverse claims that might cloud the title.

    But not all adverse claims clouding the title to a property are discoverable as readily as (for example) a franchise tax lien (a government lien) which is filed and recorded in the jurisdiction where the property is situated. An adverse claim can also suddenly come out of left field in the shape of a distant relative or some such person who could move to contest the validity of the quit claim deed in Probate Court.

    And as for any statute of limitations barring adverse claims in Michigan? Well, you can factor in anywhere from 5 years for a Claim to Title Under Fiduciary Deed to a Reasonable Amount of Time, with the latter’s length dependant on allegations of, and the time of the discovery of fraud by the plaintiff. But in no event will anyone’s adverse claim be entertained by a probate court beyond the 10 year mark.

    So, you may want to do a bit of inter familial sleuthing to find if your aunt or grandmother made promises, be it expressed or implied, to some other distant relatives or spouses to wit unknown to you and your wife, and nip any possible future court battles in the bud.

    fredrikklaw
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  3. bogus123

    bogus123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    fredrikklaw,

    You mentioned an "Adverse Claim". Does this claim have to be in writing or is a supposed verbal claim viable?
     
  4. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    The Quit Claim included Right of Survivorship, therefore your wife is entitled to the whole enchilada. If it had only been a Quit Claim to both of them, they would have been Tenants In Common and your sister in laws half would have needed to go through probate according to will or intestacy.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    All claims are required to presented through a court of competent jurisdiction.
    Have any claims been made?
    How did granny and auntie procure the property?
    Did they pay cash?
    To whom did they pay the cash?
    How did auntie and granny establish the previous owner's GOOD AND VALID TITLE?
    The biggest problem with any quitclaim deed is its not warranted or guaranteed.
    It only asserts the holder's assertion of ownership.
    I suggest you discuss this in greater detail with your attorney.
    You appear to seeking answers that would establish your wife's ownership.
    That may lead to surprises down the line.
    Did granny or auntie have any other relatives alive at the time of their respective demise?
     
  6. bogus123

    bogus123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The attorney we hired did a thorough search for any and all claims to the deed (mortgage, tax's, liens, equity loans ...) and everything came back clear. As for the procurement of the property by the aunt & grandmother, they sold a house and paid cash for this house in 1972. As of the aunts passing, hers was the only name on the deed. However, the grandmother was/is listed on the quitclaim deed. The aunt was the last survivor in the family from that generation (no surviving brothers or sisters). The aunt had no children of her own (she had a step daughter living in Canada). My wife speaks often (two to three times a month) to the step daughter and she made it abundantly clear that she has absolutely no interest in any belongings whatsoever. The aunts husband passed away in 1962.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Very interesting.
    I guess we'll never know why they chose the quit claim deed mechanism.
    I'm always curious as to what motivated people to make decisions.
    It looks like clear sailing to me then. Go for it.
     
  8. bogus123

    bogus123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It is my understanding that the quit claim deed was done because the aunt didn't want my wife and her sister (she's listed on the quit claim as well but passed away in 2007) to have to fight in probate for the house. She also had my wife's name on all her bank accounts and safe deposit box's as well. She also left no will. This was done at the advice of her attorney. She was told (no I was not privy to this conversation) that this was the best way to insure that her wishes for her belongings and such end up in the hands of those she chose.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Thank you, bogus.
    I tell you, I love to learn the various stories people have.
    We're all so different and we lead such interesting lives.

    I won't quibble with what the attorney told the ladies, as it seems to have worked.

    You take my wife. She's one that hangs onto her stuff.
    Me? I started gifting the stuff to those I wanted to receive it 10 years ago.
    Yes sir, we're all so different.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014

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