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Questions Answered by Seril L Grossfeld
3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I'm one of 3 people as tenants in common on a deed. 1 died 30 years ago , 1 is 96 yrs old. How should I proceed?

The one who died is my brother

and his wife also died long ago.

They have 4 adult children.

The 96 year old, my sister, lives in the condo in North Carolina.

Should I now explain the situation to my brothers's 4 children and send a copy of the deed? Should they... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 15, 2019

Even though your brother and his wife died along time ago you still may need to have estates for both persons to determine who owned their share as a result of their dying, then you can get deeds from the children of your brother and his wife. At this point you would be able to get a quit claim... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I own a house with my ex and would like to sell it, he does not want to sell or refinance to buy me out.

Both our names are on the mortgage, not ever married. I would like to avoid hiring a lawyer to compel a sale. Is it ok to threaten to stop paying my part of the mortgage to motivate him to agree to sell or could any negative consequences come back on me if i stop paying my part and he continues to... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 11, 2019

If you cannot get this resolved you are looking for a rather expensive partition action, unless there was a dissolution of marriage that provided the house had to be sold at some point, in which case some type of enforcement action may be possible.

I would not suggest you stop paying the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Probate, Securities Law and Stockbroker Fraud for Florida on
Q: Can a Florida spouse/POA/ PR be sued to recover inheritances after estate admin closed?

If illegal/egregious actions by stepmother/POA/PR were recently learned of by daughter beneficiaries, and estate admin was closed August, 2018, do we have options to sue or recover estate assets (money)? (Date of death 5/2017) One of several issues involves fathers long-time advisor. Investment... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 10, 2019

At this point you should probably see an attorney who specializes in securities fraud to ascertain whether you have an action against the investment firm for changing type of account without proper authority.

Other issue is whether there was fraud on the court as far as the probate...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Realtor having Power of Attorney at closing.

The closing on the sale of my Indiana home occurs this coming Monday. My wife and I are in Florida and gave Power of Attorney to our realtor to represent us at closing. What should I obtain from my realtor prior to the closing?

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 4, 2019

In this age of Federal Express, faxes and attachments to emails why would you give someone you do not know a power of attorney to "represent" you and at a closing and then ask what you need to do to protect yourself. A real estate agent does not have the same responsibility to protect your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: In my will it states body to be cremated in FL, my now state of residence. What Happens should I die somewhere else?
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 1, 2019

Actually your will is not a good place to put this since your will is dealt with long after your remains are dealt with. If the person charged with carrying out decisions regarding your remains is familiar with your will, that person may insist in doing exactly what you directed, which can be a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: What is the average cost of closing / closing fees for a seller in Florida? A listing agent is charging my mother 2.25%.

Some of the fees a listing agent gave my mother include a title search fee ($125-$195), closing service fee ($375-$850), municipal lien search ($125-$195), and transaction fee ($495), among others. My first question is, why do some of the fees have a range instead of a set price, and my second... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 1, 2019

The listing agent was providing a range of fees, the listing agent is not the person who will be doing this work or charging the fees, short of the transaction fee which some real estate agencies charge on top of their commission. There is a range, since depending on the company the closing agent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can you please verify who the rightful heir would be, based on the following, intestate, scenario involving real estate?

Owner A and Owner B, who are legally married, are both on the title for their Florida home. (I don't believe this is relevant but, Owner A originally owned the home individually by himself and later added Owner B, through quit claim deed, which does not make reference to or specify how title would... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 1, 2019

Since they were not acknowledged as married on the title and no qualifying language as to the nature of the title they both owned as tenants in common, meaning they both owned a divisible one half interest. When A died his divisible one half interest went into his estate so his estate and B both... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My wife and I purchased a house in Florida two years ago from a builder and I have a question about the deed.

It is a special warranty deed in my name and hers but does not have the phrase "tenents by the entirety " or tenents in common". Nothing other than our two names as buyers. Will she automatically receive the house when I pass without going through probate?

Our wills leave all tangible... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 1, 2019

If the deed has your name and her name, your wife, that is all that is needed to create a tenant by the entireties and the full title will pass by operation of law to the survivor. Additional documents may be required at that time to perfect title in the name of the survivor.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My brother is executor of my fathers estate and will not contact me.

As executor, isn't it his responsibility to contact anyone in the will. He will not answer or return my calls. When my father was moved to assisted living before he passed, the contents of his apartment were moved out by my brother. From what I am told he just gave everything away. I was never... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 20, 2019

The first question is whether a probate proceeding was ever opened. Naming someone as executor or personal representative in a will just expresses your father's choice for who should be appointed by the court, but gives the person no authority without being appointed by the court. In order to be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions and Probate for Florida on
Q: What are the consequences/legality of purchasing a restaurant business if one of the 3 owners is in probate?

We're a week out from completing our due diligence period for purchasing a restaurant and it was just disclosed to us the deceased owner's name is still on the company and though they had a will it could place their share of the restaurant in probate.

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 20, 2019

There must be an order obtained from the probate court of the deceased owner's estate approving the sale. This will take time since will or not beneficiaries need to be notified of the sale and a hearing scheduled approving the sale. This could considerably delay your ability to close on the sale... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: In a foreclosure auction, will the existing mortgage carry over or be effectively extinguished in the foreclosure sale?

Court records show that there's a final summary judgment which states that the plaintiff (the HOA), "holds a lien superior to any claim or estate of Defendants on the property". However, there's an existing mortgage in the form of a permanent loan modification agreement with the lender of record.

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 9, 2019

The mortgage is still there. A lot of people get burned in buying properties at foreclosure sales by buying the HOA lien out of foreclosure at a price very much below fair market value only to find a large mortgage on the property. Always do a title search to find mortgages and other liens that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: As a tenant do I have to remove my pets when the homeowner is showing house to perspective buyer or can I use a crate?

I have 5 dogs and on several occasions I have moved them outside in their crates for the agent to show the house. More than one occasion the agent never showed and I waited outside for greater than 45 minutes. Its hot outside to wait that long. There is no defined time of any showing I receive... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 9, 2019

You should discuss that with the homeowner or real estate agent, since safety of both your pets and the prospective buyers and other persons coming into the house is of the greatest concern. Don't forget that people make appointments to see the house and then never show up so it is not always the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Contractor has lien on condo against HOA. have agreement of sale, I was never notified of lien. What recourse do I have?
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 9, 2019

You need a real estate attorney to represent you in this action. Possibly the attorney can get the lien released from your unit, otherwise you will not be able to sell until the lien is resolved by the HOA and contractor

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can I file for a stay and get my money back from my landlord? I am being evicted because of being behind on rent I am

I want to get all of the mi why I’ve spent for rent and deposits here st this location over the last 6 months. The living conditions have not improved no repairs have been made unless I made them and the leaks are ruining my furniture and the termites are probably into my real wood furniture by... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 9, 2019

You did not indicate whether you provided your landlord with the notice required under Florida law of all these defects, in any event you continued to live in the premises all this time despite the defects. Generally if you are not paying rent you get evicted, no matter why you are not paying.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: What happens if a POA (for one of the owners of home) is not approved by title company transferring title to buyer?

We are selling our home in PSL. My father, (on the title as one of the owners) has Alzheimer's, and the title company is not approving the POA we have provided. Can the buyer's sue us because of this? Should we seek legal representation?

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 9, 2019

Actually you should have had legal representation way before this. The contract you signed has provisions as to how much time you have to clear title problems. You need to consult with an attorney to determine whether the POA is viable, despite the title company problem with it. The worst... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Can a probate judge go against a legal will and disburse money as she sees fit to do?

My husband had a legal will drawn up by a reputable attorney here locally. He retired before my husband passed but his Paralegal went to the courthouse and swore out that the will was legal. Everything was to go to me , his wife. He had a lawsuit that settled after his death. He had been in a... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 6, 2019

Assuming that the will did say what you indicated, the Judge would have NO authority to change the dictates of the will. I am assuming you had an attorney represent you in the probate. Another factor is whether or not the settlement proceeds provided any funds specifically to your grand daughter... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My contract with my realtor expired on midnight 31 August. He did not remove his information from the house listing

Different realtor wants to make offer on house, original realtor said I owe him commission even though this viewing was not arranged by him, and came 4 days after his contract ended. He did not remove his information from sites as of today, even though I sent several messages reminding him contract... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 4, 2019

This is difficult to answer without reviewing the listing agreement and without knowing how the now interested party found out about the property

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My husband & his aunt were deeded a house in MD upon his mother's death over a year and half ago.

Deeded "right of survivorship". Instead of selling the home, the aunt moved in agreeing to pay my husband his share of value. A contract was signed June 2019 and it even went to the Title Co for closing last month. She thought she could take money out of the estate (she's executor) to pay my... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Sep 4, 2019

Sorry to learn about the recent passing of your husband.

What will depend upon the status of the contract. Whether it was extended and the language as to whether it binds parties if there is a death. Right of survivorship is a matter of law, not determined by contract or probate rules...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Hi, I question regarding homestead life estate for Fl. Does her condo have to go through my dad's probate? Thanks!!

My mom passed 2 years ago intestate,my dad was named personal representative but passed before probate was complete. My sister coerced (possible elder abuse) my father to sign a will while he was in ICU under the influence of morphine and other meds leaving everything to her. There are 5 siblings.... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Aug 30, 2019

Homestead issues are very complicated. Theoretically the homestead does not go into the estate it descends per the statute you indicated, however a court order is necessary to apply this statute, it is not automatic. There would need to be a petition to determine homestead in your mother's estate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can the title company use a letter stating balance due on a lien and add it to the lien itself making me pay bill 2ce

Any liens that need to be satisfied by law have to be documented. The title company is trying to use a letter addressed to her the current balance due along with original code violation.. The title company is using the letter stating balance due and adding it to the liens to the original... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Aug 29, 2019

You as a party in a real estate transaction should have an attorney to ensure that a proper lien search is done on the property. The holder of the lien should be asked for an estoppel letter to confirm the lien remains unpaid and the payoff amount, an old letter is never acceptable. From your... Read more »

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