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

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?

Answer:  Yes.  When a couple, married or not, sever their relationship and an agreement is reached with one party to remain in the home, much time and money can be saved if there is a simultaneous exchange of the deed to the home and the payment for the home.  When you paid your boyfriend $15,000, you should have demanded the deed to the home. Your failure to get the deed when you paid your boyfriend $15,000 will probably cost you considerable time and money now.  You will probably need to file a quiet title lawsuit against your boyfriend’s estate to establish that, at the time that your boyfriend died, your boyfriend had sold his interest in the home to you for $15,000.  If a probate of the deceased boyfriend’s estate has not been opened yet, his estate may have to be probated now.

Bottom line: you need to contact a real estate attorney who will need to work closely with a title company to clear the title for you to become the legal owner of your Sunnyslope home.

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