PENNSYLVANIA PROBATE LAW FIRM
As a probate attorney to estate executors, Michael Daiello helps overcome roadblocks that prevent a sale of estate properties.
Solutions for Estate Property Roadblocks
Estate executors and heirs never want to become involved in a real estate dispute. Real estate disputes can be one of the most stressful and emotional types of legal disputes. Our practice helps resolve the roadblocks which prevent the sale of estate property.
Legal problems connected with estate properties cost executors and heirs time and money. Property rights can even be lost if a legal issue or dispute is not promptly resolved. It is always best to act quickly to avoid a problem than to resolve a dispute through a legal lengthy legal proceeding.
Here are just some of the problems we can help you resolve:
Call us for help overcoming legal roadblocks preventing a sale of your estate property.
Whether you are an estate executor or heir to a loved one’s estate, we can help resolve problems involving fraud, defective title, liens, unauthorized occupancy and more.
Restore Rights Lost Due to Stolen Title
Real estate fraud is a major problem in Pennsylvania. Unoccupied properties are especially at risk. We know there are times when you need to act quickly to preserve your property ownership rights. Unscrupulous people may even a fraudulent deed, forge a loved one’s signature or take up residence in a property under the guise of a fake lease.
A “Quiet Title” action is a lawsuit against another person to resolve a challenge or claim to the title. A typical ground for a complaint includes the fraudulent conveyance of a property, perhaps by a forged deed or under coercion. If you believe you have been the victim of deed fraud, it is critical to act quickly to protect your rights.
Remove Squatters and Trespassers
A person who has no lawful right to reside in a property and does not have an oral or written lease agreement must be ejected. An ejectment action is a lawsuit to remove someone from a property when there is no lease agreement in place. The ejectment process is highly technical because it requires an appearance before a judge and knowledge of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
Partition of Jointly-Owned Property
It is common for a loved one to leave a partial interest in a property to their heirs. For example, a loved one may have co-owned a property with a former spouse, a family member, friend or co-investor. In these circumstances, the heirs to the loved one’s estate maintain a interest in the property equal to the interest owned by the loved one.
Problems can arise when the co-owner does not cooperate with the estate executor or heirs. If the estate desires to sell but the co-owners do not agree to a sale or buyout, a legal action called Partition may be necessary to compel a sale.
Protection From Adverse Possession Claims
A person who occupies a property without permission of the owner may claim legal title after ten or twenty-one years. The legal term for this kind of “squatters right” is Adverse Possession. But it is not enough that the possessor merely occupy for twenty-one years. The possession must be actual, continuous, exclusive, visible, notorious, distinct and hostile.
It is not uncommon for adverse possession claims to arise during the probate process. In certain cases, an heir to the estate may claim adverse possession against the other co-heirs.
Eliminate Liens and Mortgages
When a mortgage loan is paid off, the lender will give the borrower a document called a mortgage satisfaction. A satisfaction is the borrower’s proof that the property is released from the mortgage. The borrower can then sell the property free and clear of the mortgage.
Problems can arise if the satisfaction was not recorded in the chain of title and the lender is defunct or uncooperative. An unsatisfied mortgage can delay a sale or cause the principle amount of the mortgage to be placed into escrow at closing. We represent executors for a lawsuit to challenge unsatisfied mortgages. A successful case will result in a court order discharging the mortgage.
Right of Redemption Cases
A property owner who fails to pay real estate taxes may lose the property to a sheriff’s tax sale. Estate properties where the heirs have not completed the probate process are at risk of tax sales unless the heirs continuing paying the tax bills. Philadelphia properties sold at auction can be recovered within nine months if the property is not “vacant” as defined by the law. The law which allows a property owner to file a petition to restore legal rights to the property is called the Right of Redemption.
PROBATE CASE STUDIES
Tangled Title Resolved for an Estate Property
Our client was the primary caregiver of his mother for many years. He also maintained her home for a long time and contributed money for its maintenance. As his mother moved through the later stages of life, he moved into the home to assist with the property. Our client’s mother was generally in good health, but he was concerned that she was unable to keep everything in working order.
Our client came to our office years later to find out if probate was required and what tasks should be done. He was confident that probate could be avoided because his name was on the deed. He presented the deed and explained that his mother had placed his name on the deed a number of years prior to her passing.
Roadblocks Cleared for Beneficiary of Estate Property
Our office routinely helps our clients resolve roadblocks to selling their estate inheritance property. It is not uncommon for properties passed by a will to be encumbered by legal problems. Some of the legal problems our clients may face include estate properties that were co-owned by the deceased and title problems that prevent clear title to the property.
We recently handled a case in which our client was the beneficiary of an estate property, but legal problems prevented the property from being sold. Our client’s beloved grandmother left a will leaving her interest in a home to our client. However, the property was titled in the name of the grandmother and her former husband who was also deceased. Because the grandmother and her former husband co-owned the property after divorce, our client held a one-half interest from her grandmother. The other one-half interest belonged to the heirs of the former husband. Unfortunately, the heirs refused to cooperate with our client in selling the property or arranging a buyout.
DOWNLOAD THE PENNSYLVANIA PROBATE HANDBOOK
As a probate attorney to estate executors, I help my clients settle estates efficiently and reduce stress. It is always better to avoid a costly mistake than it is to resolve a legal or tax problem due to improper estate or trust administration. I provide sound guidance so that you can avoid pitfalls and focus on what matters most.