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lwpat, Attorney at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  Attorney with experience in wills, estates and trusts
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My deceased father (Im the sole heir) signed a "quit claim"

Customer Question

My deceased father (I'm the sole heir) signed a "quit claim" deed, of his residential home, over to me. This document did not get notarized. How do I execute this document so I can sell this property...?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry but since the deed was not notarized, it is not a valid deed and has no legal effect since it cannot be recorded. Since real estate is involved you will have to file for probate and go through the formal probate procedure. Call the probate court in the county of his residence and make an appointment. Take the death certificate and will if there is one. The clerk will give you all the necessary forms and instructions but cannot give you legal advice.
When probate is ready to be closed and assuming that you are the heir to the home, you can distribute it out of the estate to yourself and then sell it. Here is a checklist from another state so the laws will be slightly different but it is a good checklist that you may want to print out for reference.

I am sorry for your loss and best wishes to you and your family.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The house is in foreclosure, so a 7 month probate is untenable. I forgot to mention the document was witnessed, but not notarized. Is there any other option besides probate?
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
There is no other option besides probate. However, once you are the PR you can handle the foreclosure if the property is not underwater and worth saving.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So if the "quit claim" deed had been notarized, and this home is the only asset(@$170,000 in equity), probate could have been avoided...?
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
Yes but then you would not have the benefit of the step up in value basis for tax purposes when sold since your basis would be zero. If it goes through probate the basis is the current value.