Agent

Clearing real estate title a top priority after co-owner’s death

Future sale, title transfer hinges on swift action

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DEAR BOB: In 1990 my partner and I put our investments and the house we owned into our revocable living trust, primarily to avoid probate when one of us died. When he died two years ago, there was no problem with the investments so I had his name removed from the brokerage accounts and joint bank account. But his name remains on the title to the house. I am told by the recorder of deeds office that I need to hire a lawyer or a title company to clear the title. Do I need to go to this expense? – Gerald W. DEAR GERALD: There shouldn't be any extraordinary expense if you are named in the revocable living trust as the successor trustee. You should be able to convey the title into your name alone as the property owner unless there was something unusual about the living trust. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. You should clear the title of your late co-owner's name as soon as possible. There are so many reasons that I can't list them all. Then you can create your own living trust t...