Who owns a home if the ex wife died before refinancing? 20 Answers as of July 05, 2011

In the case of a divorce where the husband signed a quit claim deed on a house with the contingency of the wife refinancing. Before refinancing, the wife quit claimed the house into her revocable trust. Then, 2-3 months later she passed away prior to refinancing. The husband is solely on the mortgage with no ownership in the house. Does he have any recourse?

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Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
The trust owns the house. Depending on the terms of your divorce judgment, you may be able to force a sale or refinance. You should consult with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/5/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
A "quit claim" deed is not a document normally used in a Louisiana community property settlement. However, depending on the wording of the document and the "contingency," the deed may have what is known as a resolutory condition. Your questioner may have a claim in the woman's succession or to "bust the trust" if the resolutory condition-refinancing never occurred.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/1/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You may be able to enforce the decree in the probate proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/1/2011
Meriwether & Tharp LLC
Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
This question is a tricky one and would require a review of the divorce decree/agreement and the quitclaim deed signed to properly answer it. Depending on what those documents say, the recourse would be to either bring a contempt action against the estate of the ex-wife or to file some type of claim with the probate Court.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/30/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
Make a claim against the estate and/or the trustee.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/30/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The complete answer will depend partly on the specific terms of the divorce decree or separation agreement and the state law of the state where the decree was entered. The likely final answer is that the deceased wife's trust is the legal owner of the property, but the husband may have a legitimate claim for some equitable relief from the trust or the decedent's probate estate. Husband should consult an attorney to evaluate the specific facts and determine what viable options are available.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    I believe the quit claim deed can be said to have been given based upon the condition that she was to refinance the house. In such a case, you will have to go back to court and seek to rescind the deed because the "condition precedent" was not met by her due to her demise. They you must ask for the deed to be transferred back to you so you can sell it or do whatever else you wish. Speak to the attorney who handled the case for you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    This is a probate question not a divorce question. I don't think he has any ownership rights in the house but he can sue her estate to remove him from the mortgage-which it probably can't. The remedy then is an interesting question and a probate attorney can help you with that.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Any reasonable attorney cannot answer this question without more information. Was the deed filed, is there a contract related to the deed, what is the status of the divorce, is it complete, is there a will? Who is the beneficiary of the revocable trust? Then, the bigger question is was the trust funded - ie: although she quit claimed, did she have title? If not, did the trust fail? This is a very convoluted set of facts, you need to bring all your documents to the attention of a lawyer, this is not the type question that can be answered in a forum like this one.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    Yes, he can make a claim in the probate/under her Trust for the amount of the mortgage - which would force them to refinance or pay it off.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You are probably going to have to contact an attorney that practices a lot in the areas of trusts and estates rather than in divorce. My guess is that what recourse is available, if any, it going to depend on a detailed examination of all of the documents involved in this series of transactions.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The property is under the ownership of the trust. The title is not in the husband's name and ownership was transferred by quitclaim deed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    File a motion with the court to require her estate to either refinance or sell the property.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    If the contingency is written properly, since the contingency didn't happen the husband still has title to home. He also owes the mortgage no matter what!
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    In Connecticut, this becomes an estate/Probate matter. Husband still wouldn't own the house but the trust will have to follow through with finalizing what the agreement was or to sell the house to remove the mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, if he signed a quit claim, then it would appear he no longer has any ownership interest. He may want to consult with a probate attorney as to what is likely to happen with regard to the mortgage and her estate. It may well be that whoever inherits the house will need to take over the mortgage in order to avoid foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    You could be able to request that the estate pay off the loan. It is difficult to provide an answer without reviewing both your divorce judgment and the trust documents. You should contact an estate attorney or a family law attorney to discuss the particulars of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Best answer is: probably you have recourse, but it will not be inexpensive or easy. See a local domestic relations attorney today.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The wife's trust would own the house in that case. He may possibly (depending on the language of the divorce) have a right to sue her estate although the usual remedy, contempt, is meaningless once she's dead.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/29/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Who is on the deed, and was there a will and trust. We need more information.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/29/2011
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