Houghton Lake, MI asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Michigan

Q: Our landlord just died, no will. His sister wants no expense of a second home; she thought of transfering mortgage to us

The sister and brother are only heirs, the brother wants nothing. The sister said the landlord talked highly of us, she cannot have the expense of a second mortgage & she would like us to have the home yet needs to figure out the mortgage. She had asked us to keep depositing our monthly payment in his bank account so the mortgage doesn't default; yet for us we don't see how it will benefit us if we pay off his mortgage, without having our name anywhere connected to the mortgage or home. We do love the home so are willing to stay, just not sure of how to go about any thing.

3 Lawyer Answers
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
Answered
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: A probate case may be necessary in order for the heirs to convey title to the property. If you have the cash or could get financing to pay off the mortgage, the transaction is fairly simple for an attorney to handle.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Howell, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You ABSOLUTELY need to hire your own attorney to help insure you're not 'throwing good money after bad' here. Just because there are siblings doesn't mean they can control things without probate, and unless and until someone is appointed as personal representative they don't have authority to make any deals with you.

The mortgage company likely won't deal with you and the siblings don't have authority to deal with them either at this point. If the sister and/or brother aren't opening probate, YOU may have authority as an interested party, under some circumstances but that can be tricky, and isn't always the best course of action.

1) Don't pay anything into a deceased person's bank account!

2) Consider setting up an 'escrow account' for your rent

and

3) Hire your own attorney to get specific advice about how to do the above properly and to best protect your interests.

Good luck.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

David Soble
David Soble
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Well you can continue to pay under the lease as if the Landlord had not passed. However, if you like the home, as the landlord's heirs are willing to sell it to you, go get a mortgage, or at the very least have a new sale agreement drafted. But before you do anything, the title to the home will need to be transferred to the landlord's heirs. Hopefully the landlord died with a will.

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