LandInvestors.com Forums **Ask A Question** Dead people on the deed?

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    Andrew Goering
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    Post count: 9

    Im sure you have all dealt with this one time or another and the answers I find online are usually very vague and use legalees to describe everything.

    A husband and wife are on a deed to a one acre parcel in California. Both people are dead and the second wife of the deceased man is the one inheriting his estate. How do I go about instructing the seller to get this property ready to be sold to me. She has death certificates for both.

    I have 2 deals just like this that I am getting a great deal on so any help is appreciated. Thanks

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  • Kevin Farrell
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    Post count: 1145
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    Andrew – If this is your first couple of deals you might want to let them go. Or come back to them later after you have done a few easy ones. If it was just one of the people named on the deed who survived I would suggest that you just have the surviving spouse sign the deed and have the death cert recorded with the deed. This works with a deed that is Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship.

    Your situation is that there is a third person (wife 2.0) involved. She is not on the deed. She may be in the will but you did not say. She may have to get an attorney to open probate to get the deed legally in her name even if there is a will that says she owns it. Her ownership should have been established at the time of death – maybe it wasn’t done.

    A really great deal starts to look bad when it sucks up all your time. That is what this deal will do to you. I’ve been there and regretted all the email, phone calls, and time it took to close.

    You will get more deals. Good luck.

    Rod Hall
    Participant
    Post count: 297
    Pro

    There are several variables to this situation. My opinion is that she needs to go to her Eastate attorney . Will, no will, trust, all will require some sort of legal help if she is not on the deed . May be a quiet title action could solve the problem. Regardless it takes an attorney. It would for me anyway. Even if the property is held in the name of a trust and she is the trustee she will still need a legal document , I think it’s called an affidavit of succession or something like that. Anyway it is an administrative court action. All this varies by state. And yes, buying land from dead people comes up. Sometimes it’s worth it to do a lot of homework. Personally , I put it back on the seller. I have not run into a situation that would motivate me enough

    Milan
    Participant
    Post count: 523

    You seem like you are new Andrew. So it will be your first deal. You can learn a lot from it. Just make sure property is cheap and you are not putting too much money on the line.

    Call the county and ask someone if they can help you and give you advice what to do. Be humble. If they tell you the steps, write them down and do it. And learn at the same time.

    If they say we don’t know we are not the lawyers ask what people do. tell them you can’t afford the lawyer.

    If nothing works, try to hire title company to close it for you.

    Anyway, it seems like you are young Andrew and you have more time on your plate than money. Than just try it.

    Luke Smith
    Moderator
    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    In CA there is an affidavit of small estates you can do. It asks questions about the heirs and who is supposed to inherit it. The other requirement is the land be valued by a probate court referee. They charge different fees by county. Usually some down then some for travel and picture taking of the land. Think cost of 300-1500$ in my experience. The value has to be low. Get it all notarized and recorded with death certs. That points out who can sign the land over to you. Basically just Google the county probate court referee and ask them for the forms to fill out. They usually send you the forms or links to them.

    Andrew Goering
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thanks Luke. Exactly what I needed to know. I have so many other great deals coming in Im gonna let these ones slide until they get everything sorted out legally themselves. Thanks for the info though.

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