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Real Estate/Deed Transfer Question

Discussion in 'Other Ownership, Use & Privacy Issues' started by Gratefulone1378, May 17, 2017.

  1. Gratefulone1378

    Gratefulone1378 Law Topic Starter Guest

    1) My parents home was left to all of the siblings. Back in 2011, we (my siblings and I) all signed documents granting my next to the oldest sister authority to do as she wanted with the house (whether she decided to sell, rent, etc.). My sister has advised she will write a letter or complete any form necessary to turn the house solely over to me since technically she still has the "power" to do what she wants with it. Would this be sufficient to have the deed transferred solely to my name?

    2) My eldest sister passed away before the letters (granting my next to the oldest sister power to do as she pleased with the house) were signed by the siblings. An estate was not opened after she passed as my next sister was not in a position financially to do so). My eldest sister did not have any heirs or a spouse at that time. Does an estate have to be opened for her before the deed to the house can be transferred to me?
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you and your siblings discuss this with an estate attorney.

    Under the laws of intestacy of DE the following describes how to proceed because of your sister's death.

    The estate, because of the real estate must be probated.

    If the decedent is not married and does not have any children or parents alive at the time of his death, the decedent’s estate will be distributed to the decedent’s siblings per stirpes, also the children of any siblings that did not outlive the decedent will receive their parent’s share.

    If the decedent did not have any siblings, the decedent’s estate will be distributed to his or her next of kin.

    Inheritance Law For Delaware
  3. Crystal Streett

    Crystal Streett New Member

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    Thank you for that information! I truly appreciate it.

    Since all of the siblings have agreed to this arrangement, what would be the purpose of probate? Is that to determine whether my sister had a valid will at the time of her death? I do apologize...this is all foreign to me.

    My 2nd question is this. I have a creditor who submitted a bill for $112 against my mother's estate 10 years ago. I've been settling her accounts and this is the last still to be paid. When I contacted them back in March I was told the bill was $480+ (from late fees). When I contacted them a month ago, they initially said the late fee is $5 a month and for me to call them back in an hour so they could pull the records. When I called back, the owner advised the bill was $600+ dollars and hung up on me when I advised her what she originally told me (that the late fees were accumulated at $5 a month and when I asked for an accounting of the account). Can they do that?
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Your sister is dead.
    She failed to memorialize your arrangement.
    If you want to legally own that house, you now must probate her estate.

    This is more on probate in DE:

    How Probate Works in Delaware

    If its too difficult for you and your siblings, band together, kick in a few bucks, and hire a lawyer.

    Do you mean can they hang up on you? Of course a person can hang up on you. LOL

    Or, are you concerned about the increasing debt?
    As far as the debt, stop paying it.
    If your mother's estate has been probated, probate is closed, the creditor can't collect a darn thing from you.
    You don't owe the debt.
    Your mother owed the debt.
    This is why states created probate.

    Probate isn't complicated, but closes the estate quickly, and forces debtors to appear so that $100 debts don't become $10,000 debts increased by fees, late charges, and excessive compound interest.

    This may apply to your sister's home too:

    Small Estates

    If the deceased's assets are less than $30,000, and there is no real estate in his/her name alone, the Register of Wills Office issues a Small Estate Affidavit to transfer the assets of your loved one. It allows you to take possession of a deceased person's solely owned personal property and also allows you to transfer titles of motor vehicles, trailers, and boats from the deceased's name to another person.

    The named executor in the decedent's will who is not disqualified by the provisions set forth in § 1508 of this title and next-of-kin (see definition below) of a decedent shall have the right upon the death of the decedent.

    Next of Kin – 1.) the nearest blood relatives of a person who has died, including the Surviving spouse. 2.) Anyone who would receive a portion of the estate by the laws of descent and distribution if there were no will – blood related 3.) Legally adopted children.

    Your state has a "small estate" exemption from the 19th century.
    Some states, Texas for example, has a much easier process.
    The out-of-court affidavit procedure is available in Texas if there is no will, and the value of the entire estate, not including homestead and exempt property, is $50,000 or less.
    In Texas, the home's value doesn't matter.
    It could be a $20,000,000 home or a $20,000 home.
    A probate judge must approve the affidavit.
    It can be used to transfer homestead, but no other real estate.

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