My parents sold a farm on land contract. My parents past away recently. The will states the farm and land contract go to me and my 4 siblings, and if any of us pass away their share goes to the other siblings. What is the proper paperwork for the transfer of the property and land contract now, and if any of us should pass away before the contract runs out, what would be the proper paperwork to transfer again?
2 Answers from Attorneys
The proper paperwork to transfer the property would be a quitclaim deed. However, with a situation like this, it may be necessary to discuss with an Attorney as to how best to move forward. I would be happy to discuss with you in my office should you like.
My best guess is that the farm is still titled in the name of your deceased parents. If so, it may be impossible to transfer title either of the farm or of the land contract vendor's interest without a probate court order. That will require someone to probate the estate, since the will alone has no legal effect until a court orders its provisions to be carried out. However, if the farm was instead in a living trust (a very popular estate planning tool these days), a probate court proceeding may not be required. If you or any of your fellow sibling heirs also die without proper estate planning prior to their death, the same thing will probably be true--a probate lawsuit will be required in order to remove their interest from the title or sell their interest. Probate proceedings can become very expensive and that is the reason why many people instead retitle their land in the name of a family trust these days. Then, the death of one trustee automatically causes the successor trustee to take over control of the land without any court involvement. Even though setting up the trusts can cost several thousand dollars, it is far cheaper than a probate court proceeding which can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take years to complete. Please do not assume that I am your attorney because of my response here, but feel free to call my office in Racine (262-633-3090 or email [email protected]) for clarifications regarding my answer. Otherwise, under the rules of this website, I would not be taking any further action on your case. See me on the web at www.jayknixonlaw.com. View my past answers at http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/53401-wi-jay-nixon-1529181/answers.html?sort=recency , or see an even larger collection of responses at http://www.lawguru.com/answers/search/attorney/jknixon, . Answers may contain attorney advertising materials.