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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4872
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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Who is the vested owner of this Property: the Successor Trustee

Customer Question

Who is the vested owner of this Property: the Successor Trustee of the Property is also the beneficiary of the Property. When the Trustor/Grantor (her father) passed, the Successor Trustee executed a Grant Deed, deeding the Property to her son. She did not sign or record an Affidavit of death of the Trustor. Nor did her son record this Grant Deed naming him the grantee.

Subsequently, the son became addicted to meth. Now the Successor Trustee decided to record an Affidavit of Death of Trustor. She also executed a Deed, deeding that same Property to herself, claiming her son never recorded the previous Deed, and she's taking the Property back. She went ahead and recorded the new Deed, granting the Property to herself as the rightful beneficiary.

Does the son have a leg to stand on, should he decide to make a claim? Not that he's in a position to given his altered mental state.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.


Good morning. Could you help me with a couple of questions? 1) What did the successor trustee do with the original deed to the son once it was executed? Did she deliver it to the son? 2) What does the trust agreement say about who is the beneficiary of the property? Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

(1) The original deed is presumably in the son's possession.


 


(2) The Declaration of Trust names the successor trustee as the beneficiary:


 


Part 10. Beneficiaries
At the death of the grantor, the trustee shall distribute the trust property as follows:
1. John Doe's interest in the trust property shall be given to Jane Doe, his daughter, including the house at [...] in County and the land on which the house is situated.


 


Jane Doe also being the Successor Trustee.

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I'm going to opt out because I think given all the issues running through your question I believe you'll be better served by a CA-based expert. Please do not respond to this post as it will only slow the process of such an expert picking up your question. Take care.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Relist: Other. After asking a couple of questions, the attorney opted out, as he is from Texas and my question is a California real estate question. Basically he did not provide any answer.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Another expert here and I'll try to assist. The recorded chain of title to the mother is complete and unbroken. As far as the general public and future buyers or lenders are concerned, she is the owner in fee simple. The son could file suit against her based on his unrecorded deed which I presume is validly executed and is dated prior to the deed to the mother from herself as trustee. He would of course have to produce his original signed deed. Without that, he is out of luck. The son's contention would be that when mother delivered the deed to him he became the owner as between him and his mother. She could not defeat that interest herself by doing what she did. That is the only legal leg that he has to stand on. If mother sells the property or mortgages it to someone who doesn't know about the son's deed, his interest will be cut off by the new owner or lender.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4872
Experience: Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
Irwin Law and 12 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In the unlikely event the son does find the deed which granted him the Property, and does proceed to file suit, and is able to produced the original notarized deed, how will the court rule?


 


His mother the Successor Trustee executed that deed to him prior to the death of the Trustor. It was signed and notarized in 2008, before her role as the Successor Trustee was activated.The Trustor died in 2012. In other words, she did not actually have authority to execute that deed at the time that she did. She did so, she said, just in case something happened to her, she wanted to make sure her son gets the Property.


 


Would not the fact that she signed that deed prior to the Trustor's death, void the deed to her son (or is the proper word "invalidate"?).

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. You originally said the deed was executed after the trustor died. But the new information changes everything. Her first deed is void for the very reasons you gave. It transferred no title to the son. Mom wins.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much. Sorry, I was incorrect as to the timeframe mother deeded the property to the son when I posted initially. After I looked at the documents again, I saw she did it, as stated in my last post - in 2008 prior to the Trustor's death in 2012. I have no more questions.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for coming to Pearl/Just Answer and for your high rating. Your business is appreciated.

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