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Questions Answered by Kenneth V Zichi
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: How do I proceed? My single deceased mom's home in Michigan was sold a few weeks ago at auction. I have three siblings.

My mom died in 2016. My brother was in charge of my mom's estate and even had one of his kids living in our moms house since 2016 until recently (he never consulted me). Moms house was just sold at auction a few weeks ago, After back taxes were paid there is a sum of money left over. My... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 20, 2020

You need to hire a local attorney in the county where your mother resided.

Your situation is far too complicated to provide an appropriate answer in a Public forum like this — you need to consult with a local attorney ASAP.

— this answer is provided for information only and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My husband and I are considering financing a loan to help children purchase a home. When can we quit claim deed to them

We would like to not keep this home in our name just need to know how long before when we can turn it over to them or sign a quit claim deed?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 18, 2020

Don't even THINK about doing something like this without a lawyer reviewing the whole transaction.

Generally speaking if you're going to pay cash for a house, you can quitclaim it immediately to whomever you want.

BUT that is rarely a good idea.

Further, if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My grandmother passed away, her 2 children don't want her house, they're letting HUD take it. I want to buy it.

My grandmother passed away, her 2 children don't want her house, they're letting HUD take it. I want to buy it, but they keep saying no they just want HUD to take it. How can I become an heir or get authorized to buy it so HUD's management company will discuss buying her house with... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 17, 2020

Has someone begun the probate process? You may have priority to do so if the ones 'ahead of you in line' don't, which it sounds as though may be the case. Did your grandmother leave a will? Are you listed in that will? What is the status of the house? Why does HUD have an interest?... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Our new houses well is dry, no issues were disclosed, and we've already closed. Are the sellers financially responsible?

I moved my family into a new house in Quincy, Michigan. A day after moving in, our water stops working. It turns out the well is dry, and the whole area is just bad for water. We spoke with multiple well contractors and learned that we can install a good well about 100 yards from the house at the... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 11, 2020

Without seeing the closing paperwork and disclosures it is hard to say for sure. You need to have a local attorney look at the paperwork (did you use an attorney to review the closing? You SHOULD have!) to determine if anything like this can survive the closing.

Did you do inspections?...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: First rain after closing on a house it leaks in 2 different locations. Disclosure statement said no leaks. Any recourse?
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 10, 2020

Hard to say for sure but bear in mind that 'stuff happens' and sometimes a basement that never leaked before starts due to something the seller had no control over. Did you modify landscaping or move heavy trucks etc on the lawn area around the foundation? Did it 'just' start?... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Michigan on
Q: My parents were divorced but didn’t split the house before my father died. Who has rights to the house after his death?

My father died two weeks ago. My parents were divorced 8 years ago and the house was supposed to be split but my father would reside there (as stated in the divorce order). Well, the house was never sold or mortgaged so my mom was never given her half. Her name is still on the deed of the house.... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 8, 2020

'Self help' like breaking in and changing the locks is NEVER a good idea.

Here's a brief and incomplete checklist.

0) Get yourself real legal representation, go over these steps and modify them based on the more complete information your new attorney will have....
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Does a real estate transaction (NOT lease/rent) have to be notarized for it to be legal?

I notarized a landcontract and am not registered on the title. I signed a termination agreement which I did not wish to move forward and notarized. Is the termination agreement able to cancel my landcontract without being notarized?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 1, 2020

Deeds require notarization.

I'm not sure what other 'not lease/rent' would be.

If you are thinking of entering into any real estate transaction without the advice of a lawyer, please think carefully! This is the largest single purchase most people will ever make, and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: We had an attorney prepare Michigan Lady Bird deeds for some land but I'm concerned about how they are written.

My mom hired someone to prepare Lady Bird deeds to leave her Michigan land to her children. What the attorney has prepared is simply a quit claim deed in the first paragraph and then has an appropriate sounding Lady Bird clause below it. This is unlike other deeds I have seen where they state in... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 25, 2020

This is a forum for general questions. If you'd like a second opinion, you'll need to hire a local attorney to help. You can look up attorneys by practice area and location on this site. Give a call and a 'remote' review of documents is often possible... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I am trying to help sell mobile homes in a retirement campground. The owners don’t own land, just trailer. need license?

Lots are owned by park, selling the trailer and membership only. all paperwork don’t through sales office for a fee. What type of business license will i need?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 23, 2020

If you are selling ONE home, and you have some sort of interest in it, you probably don't need anything. If, however, you will make a 'business' from this and will sell more than one you will need several licenses. You should also consider organizing an LLC or closely held... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is the seller of a house allowed to hold an estate sale after we've closed on the house?

She has until Aug. 30th to leave and is holding an estate sale on the 24th, 25th. We own the property now though. Is this legal? We also see the estate sale pictures have our home's window screens alongside items being sold. Our real estate agent has told us she's allowed to hold the sale... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 23, 2020

You answered your own question. If she has until the 30th to move out, the seller has until then to remove her things from the place. HOW she removes those personal property items is something most leases are completely silent on, and I would be shocked to learn of the lease created in an offer to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: Previous sellers didn't disclose that well is not performing to standard and new well is needed. Can I ask them to pay?

Ottawa County requires a well/septic evaluation from Health Department. My real estate agent told me that they would inspect the well. They only inspected water quality and not well itself. Water results were not ideal with Chloride and sodium, but passed.

After moving into home, son was... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 18, 2020

What WAS disclosed? Did you have a legal review of the purchase contract before the sale? There are far too many 'unknowns' here to provide a definite answer, but in general the 'buyer beware' rule applies in Michigan.

So long as the failure to disclose was just that --...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Regarding last will & testament - person's name.

What kind of problems present itself in probate court if the LW&T states John Joe versus John H. Joe or John Harry Joe? Should i request that John's lawyer re-do the LW&T to include middle initial or middle name?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 18, 2020

It is VERY unlikely to cause issues. Usually there is something else in the will that will clarify any 'ambiguities' (e.g. "My Wife Jane Joe", and "my children John Joe Jr and Billie Jo Joe-Harris" are identified in the will) which would make the identity of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Michigan on
Q: Single mom left no will. Only daughter showed to court as personal Rep. Do I need to involve grandchildren still?

I lived with my mom my whole life. I am the only living child besides one grandson that didn't show up to court. I plan to continue living in the house which is her only property. Do I need to involve him if there is nothing for him to inherit?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 17, 2020

What Mr Geers states is correct, but it makes several assumptions (IS the house in the estate? We can't really say FOR SURE without seeing the deeds etc.).

Therefore it is REALLY important that you consult with a local probate attorney to review ALL the facts to insure you're...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My home purchase agreement said "all appliances" in a special paragraph. Should I get stand alone freezer?

this was in a paragraph under the normal verbiage about built in appliances, lights etc

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 10, 2020

Without seeing the actual agreement, it is hard to say. Occasionally one paragraph will contradict another and it may not be so clear as it seems.

I would strongly urge you to consult with a local real estate attorney to review the paperwork and provide an opinion. That attorney can then...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Hi: My realtor didn't tell me about a designated agency agreement while putting a offer on a property but unknowingly

I signed the agreement electronically (for six months). I am not happy with the realtor so sent a email to terminate the agreement mutually. This realtor is asking me $5,000 for his time. I sent another email to the realtor to terminate the agreement mentioning that I will not pay anything as he... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 5, 2020

Without seeing the agreement it is hard to give specific advice. You need to share that agreement and ALL the facts surrounding it with a local lawyer to review and provide real advice.

That said, this is yet one more reason to always have legal review of agreements before signing, or at...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Michigan on
Q: My dad is from the state of Michigan where he has a home and pays taxes. However recently he has been moved to a nursing

My dad is from the state of Michigan where he has a home and pays taxes. However recently he has been moved to a nursing home in the state of Wisconsin. He would like a durable power of attorney with me as appointee, should I get these forms based out of Wisconsin because that is where he will be... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Aug 3, 2020

Although all states recognize the authority of documents drafted in the other states, it will be far easier to get someone nearby to prepare the documents. His WILL should probably be done in Michigan if that is his residency (Nursing home placement doesn't usually change residency!) but the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I live in Texas. I am in process of purchasing land in Michigan. Can I put the land in my 15 y/o child’s name ?

I want to do this for her to have an immediate investment at age 18. The land is currently void of structure.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 26, 2020

Not directly. You must be 18 to own land in Michigan (and most other states too) although the child could be a beneficiary of a trust that owned land. But that too has down-sides.

Why do you want to do this? There may be other options but without looking at ALL the facts and circumstances...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: The seller of the property is US citizen living in a foreign country. What are the requirements for witnessing his

signature on a quitclaim deed for property in Ohio? May it be done digitally or must it be in person and in front of whom?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 15, 2020

You need to ask an Ohio lawyer rather than Michigan. Laws vary from state to state!

That said, there is usually some sort of apostile or notary in that foreign country that may be acceptable for recording in Ohio.

Please consult with an Ohio attorney to review the requirements and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: i lived in an apt complex for 5 years. NEVER paid a late fee!!!!!no problems at all. mt lease was up april 30,2020. i h

i couldnt get help to move at that time because of virus closures. i couldnt turn key in till june 6 they are saying i have to pay my deposit back and charging me a mth rent during the initial out break. how can they charge me 800.00

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 6, 2020

If I understand the question, you resided in an apartment until June 6 but your lease ended on April 30. That means you 'held over' a little over a month.

Therefore, you owe a little over a month in extra rent on a 'month to month' basis (look at your lease, I bet it...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Michigan on
Q: If I vacate a home I own with another unmarried person in MI, does that person have gain rights to my share of the home?

We have resided together for 20 years (last 10 in MI where the house is). We own it jointly. I have made all the payments and have proof. If I move out, and continue maintaining the home and paying the mortgage, can the other person gain financially when we finally sell due to my not residing in... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 30, 2020

You do not need to reside in a home to maintain an ownership interest in it.

However the nature of the ownership matters. I would suggest you bring a copy of the deed to a local real estate attorney ASAP to review that and ALL the circumstances.

There may well be issues not...
Read more »

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