Seller (only one on deed) is passing away prior to closing

6 Replies

So I have a situation that is terrible that I haven't ran into before. 

We have a property under contract with the Mrs. (only name on deed) who got the property from probate from her mom's passing (a few weeks ago). They asked for a 90 day close to give them time to get out. 

I still have 60 days left. I get a call from the Mr today asking if we can close in 2-3 weeks. His wife's health took a dramatic turn for the worst. I met with him today to get keys and while I was there he got a call from the Dr. stating that she has only 2 days left. I hung out at the house till his kids got there and was just overly compassionate and polite. He told me he still wants to get this done as it was his wife's wish for her kids to get the proceeds. They have no will as she is only late 50's and this wasn't expected. She is on IV meds and in no condition to do anything. When she passes he wants to know what to do. 

I'm assuming that we will have to wait for it to go through probate again and sign a contract with the Mr. 

He asked about POA but from my research that is only valid while the individual is living.

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)

@Ryan Dossey

Wow!  That is a tough situation.  What I would do is hand over contract to title company and let the professionals figure it out.

Contact your title company's advisory title officer ASAP, explain the situation, and determine if anything can be done now.

Since the compentency of Mrs may be questionable, the issue for a title company would be to eliminate any future challenges or threats by heirs or creditirs. Find a way to eliminate the risk and you've found a way to complete your transaction.

One way could be to require QC deeds from all heirs. A POA held by Mr would valid today if he signs deed for her prior to death and have title record NOW (so they maintain control or delivery and acceptance). Then, figure a way to bulletproof.

You'll learn a lot from this experience.

Is the property in MO or IL? Having been a licensed title agent at one point I believe in MO title passes to the surviving spouse even if they are not on title (marriage creates a joint tenancy). That being said I would still do what @Rick H. suggested and get with a title officer at your title company ASAP and verify.

Originally posted by @Ryan Dossey :

...

He asked about POA but from my research that is only valid while the individual is living.

The statement in the quote is correct. 

If you close today, where will they go to? Sounds like they have lived in this house for a while now. You could end up having to get them out. 

thank you guys for the advice! A local attorney had them quit claim to the Mr. My title company is happy with that resolution. 

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)

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