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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30383
Experience:  JA Mentor
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Customer Question

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

What can you tell me about your situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In Nov 1998 I bought a house and had it titled in my son's name, Carbon County, Pennsylvania. Now I am trying to collect an insurance claim (since 3/20/16), on my homeowners policy and they are questioning my insurable interest. I agreed verbally with my son that I would pay all the bills and maintain the house, just if I were the owner and live there for the rest of my life. Can we do a notarized contract confirming the verbal contract we did in 1998 and file it as a lien for the amount paid for the house or must we execute a new deed showing the lifetime interest? Since it goes back to 1998 and our attorney did not include it in the current deed, can we handle this contractually and how do we register the contract against the deed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My phone is in Panama 507 66161689 but you system would not accept the #. I gave my Pennsylvania # but I am not there so I prfer you to answer by email or chat but you do not give me that choice either
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

We can always keep chatting via this page. Phone calls are optional. However, I don't have the ability to call Panama, so this works out better.

A verbal agreement to transfer an interest in real estate, I'm sorry to say, is not legally binding. In order to preserve your interest in the property (and stop your son from selling it if things go horribly wrong), you need something in writing that says you have a life estate in the property and he only gets it when you pass away. That also protects you if he should happen to predecease you. The contract doesn't have to be registered, but getting a new deed that gives you a life tenancy and filing it with the city gives you added protection.

As far as the insurance claim goes, you would need something in writing from your son documenting the agreement, and evidence showing what each of you did in reliance upon that agreement. An insurable interest is something they should have considered before issuing the policy - they didn't have any problem taking your 18 years of premiums. If necessary, you can sue them to get the claim covered. You and your son would both have to testify.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?