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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36400
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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We bought a house in feb 1999. our close friends (we

Customer Question

We bought a house in feb 1999. our close friends (we consider them family but technically they are not) gave us the down payment and we took out a mortgage to finance the rest of the house. when we first bought the house, all of our names were on the title. after a few refinances, our friends lawyer suggested we put the house in their family trust to avoid the tax hit of the down payment amount they gifted us. So we did that with us as the trustees (not sure that is the right word but basically the house would go to us after their death). Since then, one of our friends died (the one that had the money) and our other friend has gotten into another relationship and finally married again. We are concerned that the new wife is pushing him to not leave the house to us in the trust. Is there a way to get some sort of document to guarantee that we are in fact still the trustees of that house? We are not sure where our names appear in the title etc now as we are not savvy with that sort of thing. Technically the house is not theirs to leave, since we all were on the original title and they only provided part of the payment and we financed the rest and have been paying mortgage payments ever since as well as living in the place the whole time as our primary residence and paying all the property taxes and maintenance etc. so the question is what should we do to make sure we wind up with the house in the end? Is there some sort of form that shows that we are the trustees so we can leave it to our kids in our will? Just wondering what we can do to make sure the original agreement (that they are giving us the down payment no strings attached, NOT that they just bought a house themselves and will maybe leave it to us) is upheld. thanks for any info on this.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 4 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

You need to go to county deed records and locate the deeds.You need to send a demand letter here to trustee for a copy of the trust here.This is very suspicious.The information they gave you that the trust was for gift purposes is totally wrong , this is reportable but not taxable by the giftor.I fear you have been taken advantage of.

You will want to locate a local real estate lawyer to review the deeds and the trust document if you can get it.You deserve some answers and you may need the local lawyer to fight for legal title here.

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I would do this all without delay and you may have to sue for quiet title to the property through the courts.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again and the best here.

Expert:  Ray replied 4 months ago.

You could also use a local title company here to research the title and provide this to the lawyer as a starting point.It makes sense because there are a lot of red flags and questions in my mind that you may have been mislead.

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