Do You Have a Secret Quit Claim Deed?

Some people will try to avoid Probate Court by drawing up a Quit Claim Deed on their property and sock it in a drawer or safety deposit box until the time comes to file it at the county.  You may have other options available.  

I have heard some recent horror stories that has brought about the reason for my post.  A Quit Claim Deed may still be the right option for you and maybe not.  The best plan of action is to have this discussion with your estate planning attorney.

You may never have an issue, but I'm going to share 2 situations that I have recently heard about.  

A Quit Claim Deed was stored away and brought to existence after someone's death.  A Probate Court case still needed to be opened because the deed was not valid when it was filed.  In 2 instances this had happened.  One of the reasons was that the signature for the notary was unreadable, and the other was that the deed was not signed properly.  Now of course it is too late to modify the Quit Claim Deed because the owner is now deceased.

Another story that I came across was that a person who was living in the home had to go to a nursing home.  The children then needed to sell the home.  They actually filed the Quit Claim Deed that was drawn up 5 years ago for convenience of selling the home, and the City decided to change the homestead on the property to non-homestead from the date that the Quit Claim Deed was written.  The City was requiring the children to now pay the back taxes (5 years worth) at the non-homestead rate and all late penalties and fines!  They were trying to avoid the owner from claiming the property as an asset, but now it has cost them some money in the sale in regards to the taxes owed.

Best advice is to talk with an estate planning attorney for the best option for your situation.  Trusts, Lady Bird Deeds, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, Conservatorship as well as Quit Claim Deeds can be topics of discussion.

Planning Ahead is the Best Plan!  If you are looking to buy or sell in or near the Macomb County area, I'd be happy to help!   Kelly Dix, Real Estate One, Michigan