Estate representative to convey house

Mailbag

March 22, 1998

Dear Mr. Azrael:

My mother and stepfather's names appear on the deed to the home that they owned for many years.

Several years ago, my stepfather died, leaving my mother as sole owner.

She is now quite elderly and suffering from dementia.

As her only child, I am beneficiary in her will to this property. However, I have been told that this does not mean that I can take possession of this property when she dies since my name is not on the deed.

Should I try to make an attempt to have my mother put my name on the deed?

If this is not possible, what legal processes will I encounter when I try to sell this property after her death.?

Dorothy J. Fryer

Timonium Dear

Dear Ms. Fryer:

When your mother dies, the real property she owns individually will become part of her estate.

The personal representative of the estate will either sell the property to a third party or convey it to you by deed, as part of the estate administration.

To avoid the property being included in your mother's estate, she could execute a deed now which will vest title in you upon her death.

Since your mother's mental competence is questionable, it would be a good idea for a physician to attest to her competence and, if possible, witness the deed.

Your tax adviser should be consulted because the transfer of property may have tax consequences for your mother or her estate.

You didn't ask, but you should also obtain a broad power of attorney from your mother if she is competent to give one.

Questions on real estate?

The Sun invites you to send real estate questions to our weekly Mailbag.

Questions will be answered by Jonathan A. Azrael, principal at Azrael, Gann and Franz, a Towson firm with a concentration in real estate law. Azrael chairs the State Board of Law Examiners, which is responsible for administering the Maryland bar exam.

We ask that you keep questions brief and direct. Please include a daytime phone number for verification. Questions can be sent in the following ways:

Mailing address: Real Estate Mailbag, Fifth Floor, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md., 21278-0001.

Fax: 410-783-2517.

E-mail: real.estataltsun.com

Our Sundial audio-response number: 410-783-1800. Enter code 6170 after you hear the greeting.

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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