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  1. Executor's Deed of Assent: The first paragraph lists names of co-owners, followed by "Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship". One document - Executor's Deed of Assent, aka "the deed". I don't expect FindLaw folks to do the research FOR me, but I don't know that I'm asking the right question in order to find the right answer (that is the issue). How about this: It seems a cotenant is responsible for Market Value of Rental Income to other co-owners - IF and only IF there is an OUSTER. If the co-owner in possession of the home brings in other non-family members (one to which rent is charged, the other is not charged), thus diminishing the non-posessory co-owners use and enjoyment of the property, does this qualify as an ouster? I'm concerned that in pursuing (or being pursued) in legal action, there will be favor granted to the elder co-owner. Truth be told, elder co-owner is unpleasant to conduct business discussions with, believing there are additional considerations to be had for having paid taxes and insurance on the property? Maybe, yes, but, that depends upon whether a condition of ouster exists based on decisions made regarding the property and behaving as though it is solely her property. And this is where I'm coming up short on information. It's a difficult situation. I'd love to be able to understand what avenues (other than partition) are available to figure out how to end this relationship once and for all. It's stressful and unproductive.
  2. Individuals have come into a co-ownership situation through Executor's Deed of Assent. Executor (widow/spouse of deceased, but a non-parent) and adult children co-own the home. Executor has possession of home, and has since Dad died. She's moved in a few "strays" (that is the only words we, the kids can wrap around that relationship). She's on the second round of stray persons living in the home. She has mentioned she collects rent from one, but it isn't shared with co-owners we understand the legal obligation would be. Kids each have their own homes, families, mortgages, and are of the variety "as long as the widow pays the taxes, insurance, maintenance and upkeep, we don't care how long she stays." She whines - a LOT that she can't afford the taxes, insurance and upkeep. We can't afford to support her, and we're not going to into debt to do so. Due to JTWROS on the deed, kids feel it in HER best interest to sell while she is still alive. She has no descendants, but the JTWROS would mean if she dies first, the property automatically passes to the kids and is not probated in any individual's estate (as she expects her share will be probated and go to her named beneficiaries in her will). Any discussion of any of this, and, well, it's ALL the attorney's fault, he screwed her over, blah, blah.... Can some one point me to information for the State of Georgia related to co-owners and any liabilities related to a posessory co-owner being liable to non-posessory co-owners for market value of rental income? Is there any case law where the elderly and/or those on limited income have exceptions to such? We feel she is willingly being taken advantage of, and really don't have a reasonable path (that the widow doesn't actively blow a gasket over) to intervene correct the situation and get back on the right track.
  3. New development/realization - The instrument is an Executor's Deed to Assent. (Ga Code 53-8-15, I think). It seems as though the Deed to Assent is a bit iffy - an intent to transfer once decedent's debts are paid. Debts against THIS asset have been paid (cancellation of security deed on a mortgage). But that is the debt we knew about. Does this mean this home is in some pending state? It's been several years like this. What would be the executor's responsibilities in JTWROS co-ownership? Are there any implied trusts here? Our concerns - 1) executor is racking up debt, and with the JTWROS, co-owner's will be held responsible. 2) the house is being held "hostage" for non-relative stepchildren to provide financial support and/or strap them into re-investing full value of home to benefit the executor. Are the remedies still the same - request deed correction, and/or quiet?
  4. RetiredinVA, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I found what I needed to find on the GA General Assembly site - 53-5-67 - and it is EXACTLY as you say, in that this deed should have been registered as TIC. YOU ARE MY HERO!
  5. Yes, the will was executed by the executrix as executrix after our Dad died. And I'm pretty sure (in the high 90's percent range) the house was deeded solely in our father's name when he passed away. The will language isn't just correct, it's verbatim with names removed to protect the innocent.
  6. Okay gang, I posted a few days ago asking a bunch of questions about various things, but now studying the will and resulting deed itself. WILL reads - I give, devise and bequeath my personal residence to my wife, A, and my children, B, C. D, equally, share and share alike. ...and that is the sum total about the residence/real estate. DEED reads - First paragraph - grantor = executrix/widow grantees = executrix/widow, and B, C, D as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship as grantees Next to last paragraph - to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land, ... to the only proper use, benefit and behoof of the said Grantee forever, IN FEE SIMPLE: in as full and ample a manner as the same was held.....by the deceased. I'm looking at the real estate infobase for my state. Fee simple is described as a type of estate. and defined as: An absolute or “fee simple” estate entitles the owner to the entire property with unconditional power of disposition (O.C.G.A. § 44‑6‑20). If the owner of a fee simple estate dies without a will, the property will pass to the owner's heirs or legal representatives. Freedom to dispose of the land in any way during the life of the owner and to decide who will inherit the land on the owner's death are the primary characteristics of an estate held in fee simple. Most property transfers involve the transfer of a fee simple estate. A few paragraphs down in the real estate infobase, there is a definition for JTWROS: Joint tenancy in Georgia is another form of co‑ownership of property. The rights and privileges of a joint tenant are essentially the same as those of a tenant in common, except that the interest of a joint tenant is subject to a "right of survivorship." Upon the death of a joint tenant, the deceased tenant's interest automatically passes to the other joint tenant(s). Since joint tenants own undivided interests in the whole property rather than divisible shares as with tenants in common, it is impossible for a joint tenant to sell or assign an undivided interest to another without at least partially terminating the joint tenancy. For example, if a joint tenancy consists of joint tenants Able and Baker, and Baker sells her interest in the joint tenancy to Carr, that sale ends the joint tenancy. On the other hand, if a joint tenancy consists of joint tenants Able, Baker, and Carr, and Able sells his interest in the joint tenancy to Dixon, then Baker and Carr remain joint tenants with Dixon as a tenant in common. The two underlined sentences in the fee simple and JTWROS seem contradictory. I am so terribly confused by this. And with the short sentence in the WILL about the disposition of the residence, where in the world did JTWROS get incorporated into the DEED? Is the executrix/widow (who is not mom, by the way) making an attempt at taking more than her designated part if one of us dies? "Share and share alike" seems pretty clear that it's a 4 way split - and that JTWROS should really be tenants in common. Can I, or can I NOT, list this as property in my own will, and bequeath it to one of MY descendants? If I do, how does that work upon my death? Should I be worried about arsenic in my beverage when visiting the widow? Seems the JTWROS transfers to the other owners by default, but fee simple seems like if I died with or without a will, it would go my heirs. Is JTWROS a worthless and unenforceable designation in this situation? The more interesting piece is the NEXT paragraph in the real estate infobase: Traditionally, Georgia laws have not favored joint tenancies. Prior to 1977, there was a statute which attempted to abolish joint tenancies. Even now, the Georgia statute requires the words "joint tenants" when creating a joint tenancy. If these words are not used, the arrangement is a tenancy in common. Each joint tenant must take title at the same time, and each joint tenant must have an equal interest in the property. All joint tenants must be natural persons, not artificial persons such as corporations or limited liability companies. Do we have a problem on our hands? If so, can this be challenged years after-the-fact? My post a few days ago was more along the lines of severing JTWROS. I'm wondering if I wasn't seeing the forest for the trees - that maybe the JTWROS *is* the problem, that it should have never been there in the first place and perhaps there's some monkey business going on. (Trust me, it wouldn't shock me in the least!)
  7. You have made safe assumptions. Thought initially that maybe we didn't want to co-own. And there's the possibility that in changing the JTWROS to TIC (as none are in a position to buy the others out just yet), we might have some additional benefit. There is an influence of another co-owner that I'm very close with, but as I digest the feedback here, my position and thoughts are shifting. The issues with Dad's widow have nothing to do with the business end of this, and for ANY of the co-owners to make an attempt to leverage the house (or co-mingle it into the discussion) in personal matters is inappropriate at best. My advice has become "do the research, figure out what the options are, let me know what you decide", as it sounds like there is little to no impact to other co-owners if one decides to change his/her type of co-ownership to TIC and locks in on a percentage ownership, leaving the remaining percentage interest as JTWROS. That's in conflict with the "baiting" behavior of one attorney, but alas, I think the attorney is a family law attorney that focuses on wills/estates, and not a real estate attorney. The attorney's goal is to get the co-owner's business to create the co-owner's will, and "I'll have to consult with a real estate attorney" is the big red flag - to ME - that perhaps the co-owner might be barking up the wrong tree to understand what's going on with this deed. This co-owner's primary concern is being able to bequeath to heirs, and that co-owner is attempting to gauge the best plan of action. And it sounds to me like it's a personal decision, not one that must be "one for all and all for one". I, personally, see no need to change anything about my title/type of ownership: a. I am not impacted by the widow's perceived questionable behavior (I'm the no B.S. personality) and b. if I died TODAY, what little I have will go through probate as I do not have a will (yet). My heirs wouldn't get something I don't have. My sibling co-owner is a step ahead of me in this realm. Dad's widow? Who knows what she wants? That's part of the problem, she says different things to different people and is a moving target. Wants have been presented as "I need this" and asking for co-owners to assume debt (jointly) to provide it. Discussions of selling the property seem to hint at turning the full value into another jointly owned asset (to which the other co-owners agree "Not just no, but hell no".). We have ONE option that has been presented as a re-investment consideration, but not to her liking, thus she denied moving that direction. You tell me who is looking for $$$?
  8. So my question is "Why in the world was the property deeded to four or five people with right of survivorship?" Speculation: this decision was in deference to his wife, to give HER the ability to drive how long she wished to live in the home. A Life Estate/Estate in Remainder is until death. An Estate for Years has an expiration date. My assessment is that he didn't want to lock in on either of these, but give the widow the ability to make that choice for herself. It's a completely logical decision for a man who is trying to honor his wife, but leave his assets to his children - and was placing his bet that his children will survive his widow. Did he make the right choice? Or did he miss some important point in one of the other estate types? So in the "what was he thinking?" question posed by attorney(s), that shall remain the great unknown. I'm figuring out our responsibilities are of a moral variety, not legal or financial, and this is where the challenges lie. There are some misconceptions that perhaps the house is "leverage" in in dealing with behavioral issues. I'm of the firm belief that they are completely unrelated (although it has taken me a little effort to come to this conclusion). The feedback here has been very insightful toward maintaining a neutral position, so you have my gratitude! One co-owner is of the understanding that JTWROS limits the ability to assign that portion to the co-owner's descendants in his/her own will. That co-owner is talking to an attorney, but has not funded a retainer. This co-owner has no litigation experience to draw from and a is a little too trusting in information from the attorney that appears to me to be "baiting" to obtain a retainer. Not sure if I said it before, but I have a $50,000 t-shirt having done the same earlier in life. Legal fees rack up fast and risk exceeding the value of the asset that is the subject of conflict. The widow may be aware that filial laws exist. While low risk as they haven't been enforced for a decade or two shy of a hundred years, We don't want to be the test case that updates that timeline. If the children co-owners are in ANY way responsible for her long-term care and/or medical expenses based on filial law, that, too, becomes a liability on the house. Emotions are running high. There is a history of the widow's behavior the children find questionable, a seeming position of the widow, "if I can't have what I want, I'll do what I can to keep this tied up until there's nothing left." It is all circling around the F.E.A.R. acronym = False Evidence Appearing Real. In that situation - the best strategy is to collect the facts. For me, if there's any monetary concern, it's about keeping what I currently have where it belongs - in my wallet - and the way I am attempting to do so is to keep attorneys out of it. Oh, and the buying each other out - no one is really in the position to do so at this time.
  9. Not our mother is correct. At no point in time have Dad's widow and children lived under the same roof other than a vacation. The issue of tenancy is not one of JTWROS vs.TIC - it's a little deeper than that. We are trying to understand our LEGAL obligations to the widow to determine strategies to balance her desires and our ability to fulfill those desires. The only legal 'tie that binds' is the co-owned house. We each have nuclear families of our own, some have unrelated legal obligations, and information gathering has been drinking from a fire hose of multiple-state legal resources in multiple legal disciplines. (Forgive me for the leaks and intellectual misfires - ie.valuation of the house). Why would the speculation of anonymous strangers regarding the motivations of a man you don't know be of any value? In pragmatic decision making strategy, it is of absolutely NO value. I'm just curious what "Remarkable Deed" meant. Maybe my analysis of the situation is short-sighted. We are hearing from attorneys "why did he do fee simple instead of a life estate or....? That makes NO sense." Analytical brain power other than my own is always appreciated. Am I missing some detail that should be so terribly obvious and I'm not seeing the forest for the trees?
  10. I have my own theories why he did what he did, but curious as to yours.
  11. Dad passed several years ago, leaving a home which was paid off, in which his widow lives. Ownership is JTWROS in a fee simple estate involving the widow, and the decedent's biological children. Since then widow has moved on, and has a new companion living with her. Neither pay rent; however, the property taxes and insurance are being paid. (and yes, decedent's kids realize we own liability for taxes if they go unpaid.) We are finding the widow to be a bit difficult to discuss business matters (to resolution) and establish boundaries. We wish to sever the JTWROS, realizing we forfeit a portion to the widow instead of selling and splitting proceeds between the siblings once the widow passes away. Is that partitioning an even split, or is it based on some other probate decision of division percentage in GA (as in widow gets 50% and children of deceased split the remaining 50% (the will states "share and share alike")? Is the value the fair market value TODAY, or as of the date of Dad's death? We realize partition is the route to go, or gift to a strawman to force our status to TIC. My question is this - can we charge rent to the widow if we are all TIC (assuming I am not the only sibling to sever the JTWROS for TIC)? Is there any mechanism to charge the companion rent? Another question is that if the live-in companion has paid taxes, does the companion have any stake or claim to adverse possession?
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