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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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My father purchased a house on my behalf about 12 years ago.

Customer Question

My father purchased a house on my behalf about 12 years ago. In 2006 he had asked his lawyer to do some paperwork to put the house in the trust and make it so that I could continue living in the house if my mother and father passed away. His lawyer screwed up (big time) and just transferred title to me, taking my parents completely off the title.

I figure that his loan companies would probably not be real happy about this, so we are going to transfer title back into my fathers name. I have prepared a quitclaim deed and the excise tax affidavit, but was reading on the internet about "Life estates" which I think would do what my father intended, and allow me to remain in the home after his death. I cannot find any information on how to file a quit claim with life estate.

Is this just a statement or change of wording I would make on the quitclaim deed? or is there another document I need to fill out? Any advice would be great.

King County Washington
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 3 years ago.

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

It's just additional language in the deed. Usually it's after the legal description saying something like the following:

TMcJD :

BUT RESERVING unto a life estate in the property for the life of .

TMcJD :

That reservation is also sometimes contained in the paragraph that begins with "To have and to hold. ...."

TMcJD :

Keep in mind, however, that any issue the lender would have with a transfer of property under the "due on sale" clause of the promissory note and/or mortgage would still be present even with your father reserving a life estate. If they haven't said anything in 6-7 years, they likely don't care. In fact, in my experience, lenders rarely care about violations of that provision if the loan is performing (i.e. it is not in default and payments are being made).

TMcJD :

To avoid the due on sale clause, your father would need to amend his trust and leave the property to you in trust. Then he would transfer ownership to the trust. Although a transfer to the trust is a legal transfer, the Garn. St. Germain law (a federal law) keeps lenders from exercising rights under a due on sale clause if the transfer is to a revocable/living trust and the owner is the grantor of the trust and beneficiary of the trust during his lifetime.

TMcJD :

Please let me know if I can provide clarification.