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I just have a general question for a friend of mine. If two…

Customer Question
Hi, I just have...

Hi, I just have a general question for a friend of mine. If two people purchase a home together and they are not married, but the woman signs the documents with the wrong last name, is this purchase still legal and does the party who signed with a last name that is not hers still have any legal claim on the property?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Yes, this is in New York state in Queens county.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Yes, the home was purchased several years ago but as mentioned, the couple lived together, were not married, but she signed all the documents and deed with his last name although she never legally had his name.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The papers say they have equal share so if one party passes away, the other has sole ownership of the home. My friend just wants to if by signing with a name that was not hers, does this affect ownership down the road.

Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/21/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 1 year ago
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 43,067
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

The female who signed using the incorrect last name could maintain a claim through the courts if it was clear to both of them that she was to be a half owner as she could claim that she was using an "AKA" (also known as) when she signed it. It is the intent of the parties at the time that the contract was entered into that a judge would look at here, not how they signed their names.. She could locate an financial documents or bank statements or other things that would support her claim that she is a half owner of the property.

.

But it will be more difficult to do if the other owner dies and there is a person with his last name on the contract and the female can't prove that is legally her..

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.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you for your quick response. The female in question never used the male's last name before or after the purchase of this home; it was only done that one time. The only documents now that have her name using his last name is ***** *****'s insurance which was picked up from the original mortgage documents. The home has since been paid off, she has never had access to any of the documents although they are of public record. She was actually legally married to someone else at the time and the male made a mistake adding her name thinking they would work their
relationship out. She only lived in the home for 4 months and then went on to live with another male who she subsequently married after she was divorced from her first husband. He has been married to someone else for 35 years and is worried what will happen to the home. if he should pass on before his wife
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

Yes, that is kind of a difficult situation because I can see a judge awarding her the house if he passed first and she was able to somehow convince that judge that she was the person who signed the contract. It is likely that a handwriting analysis could be done to show that it was her signature, if not her actual name.

.

I would suggest that if she never paid anything for the house and never contributed to it, then he have a quitclaim deed prepared from her over to him along with a "name affidavit" stating that she has used the incorrect name before, and than see if she will sign it.. Maybe if he offers to pay her something for doing so..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you so much for your response. I will let my friend know what his option is and let him take it from there.Have a nice evening!
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

.

It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

.

If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

.

.

Thanks much

Barrister

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