Holly Ridge, NC asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: I am selling my moms house to my cousin. There is no mortgage and price agreed. Do I need a real estate lawyer?

Do I also need to hire a lawyer or can I sign the contract from my cousins lawyer and be done? He is obtaining a mortgage which is part of the contract. No one else has ever owned this property besides my mom. She does not live there and I have power of attorney to sign contracts, including real estate deals for her (she has advanced dementia).

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2 Lawyer Answers
Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo

A: Ask yourself, are you confident that you know how to fully complete the deal yourself wrh no mistakes?

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Can both you and your cousin agree that one lawyer can handle the whole thing? Yes. But there are nuances (tricks) that may affect the transaction.

What concerns me is that you say your mother had dementia - that indicates she is, or may be soon, in a nursing facility and you want to get here on Medicaid. If you are selling the house for less than its tax assessed value you may have created a problem where she will get penalized and won't get some Medicaid benefits, the result is you could end up paying thousands from your own pocket.

Before you go too far, consult an Elder Law attorney for advice about the transaction and other things you need to know to help your mom. You can find an elder law attorney at the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website www.vaela.org (use the zip code method to find one)

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