Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Georgia

I live in Georgia. I have recently changed my deed to a Life Estate Deed, adding my two sons names to the deed. This is so that the house will not go thru probate - it will be their property to sell the day that I die. The mortgage company has a copy of my new deed, but after several phone calls I'm not sure that they understand a Life Estate Deed. I will leave enough money to keep the mortgage payments going until the property can be sold. My question is will the mortgage company (Citimortgage) ask them to take out a new mortgage or leave it as is and keep the payments up until it is sold?

Asked on 10/06/10, 4:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Riddle Law Office of Scott B. Riddle, LLC

Maybe. Maybe not. You are asking us to guess what they may do, which won't help you at all. Another question is whether the lender will call the loan right now because you triggered the due-on-sale clause in the contract. All of these things are to be considered before executing new deeds (which may or may not have been the best way to get the desired result).

Then you get to the tax implications, and the potential negative consequences for doing it this way, after the property is eventually sold. See your CPA about this.

Then there are the problems that arise if one of your sons dies before you, or has financial difficulties (such as having to file a bankruptcy petition).

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Answered on 10/11/10, 5:29 pm
Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office also dba Glen Ashman Attorney

You may have made a collosal blunder.

Never ever do legal documents without a lawyer.

Your attempt to bypass probate (which in Georgia is simple) may have been unnecessary. You may have triggered the need to file a gift tax return with the IRS. And, even worse, you violated your due on sale clause with Citicorp (meaning they can call your whole mortgage due now if they want) and compounded the mistake by calling them to call it to their attention. There are other potential problems as well.

See a lawyer and a CPA immediately to determine how much damage you did.

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Answered on 10/11/10, 7:12 pm

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