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Maryland Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: I sold my house last year. Can the new owners' insurance co request that I pay for a claim that THEY made 11 mos later?

Hello, I'm wondering if you can help with a problem we're having. We sold our house last year, and now 11 months later, we've received a letter in the mail stating that we owe $25,000 because of a building code violation on the property. The letter was from a title insurance company... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on May 22, 2024

The answer is "it depends." It depends on the terms of your contract. Also, some title insurers slip in a form for seller signature that reads "you are inducing us to sell a policy of title insurance to the buyers..."

We never let our clients sign this. It creates a duty...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it possible to quitclaim a parcel to the estate of a deceased person? Her estate remains open after ten years.
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Apr 1, 2024

As a technical matter, yes. As a practical matter, why? The purpose of the Estate is to wind up, liquidate and distribute the assets of the decedent. It is not the business of the Estate to acquire assets. The PR will be closely scrutinized for this, and whether it is violative of their statutory... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it possible to quitclaim a parcel to the estate of a deceased person? Her estate remains open after ten years.
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2024

Without knowing any of the context, yes, an estate may receive real property. You'd naturally want to coordinate this with the Personal Representative. 10 years is an unusually long time for an estate to remain open.

While not legal advice, I hope that this helps.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have joint tenancy with mom on a townhome in Maryland. I want to remove my mom from the title and replace with my wife

There is still some mortgage left. Mom is willing to do this. How do I go about it with least financial consequences?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 31, 2024

The answer with the least legal expense is to sell or gift your mother's half of the house to your wife. There will be transfer taxes, it may be a recognition event as to capital gains, and you will need to refinance. The alternative is to review the mortgage and find out if it has a due on... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I have joint tenancy with mom on a townhome in Maryland. I want to remove my mom from the title and replace with my wife

There is still some mortgage left. Mom is willing to do this. How do I go about it with least financial consequences?

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 1, 2024

The situation you describe comes up quite frequently (where someone owns property with their mom and/or dad, gets married and wants to hold the property together with their spouse).

There are 3 different state and county-level transfer taxes that come into play with real property...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello, can a Disclaimer of Inheritance be signed electronically in Maryland? Thank you so much.
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 20, 2024

Yes, but before you do so, make sure that the disclaimer achieves the results you want it to achieve. A disclaimer by law is treated as if the person disclaiming died before the decedent. If the Will directs that a deceased heir’s share be distributed “per stripes”, or by some other method,... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello, can a Disclaimer of Inheritance be signed electronically in Maryland? Thank you so much.
Julie D. Myers
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Julie D. Myers
answered on Mar 20, 2024

In short, yes. Maryland adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act which states that a contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation. Since a Disclaimer of Inheritance is a contract, it can be signed electronically and... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Real Estate Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: I am a MD Realtor thinking of Starting a Property Management company. Are there any laws or Regulations that prohibt?

Are there any Additional License or Certification?

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 2, 2024

A property manager holding a MREC license is actually subject to MORE scrutiny than a property manager that is not a licensee. I will share from personal experience that property managers get sued, a lot. The issue is not so much whether you must be licensed, at all (a license is easy to obtain),... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Real Estate Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: I am a MD Realtor thinking of Starting a Property Management company. Are there any laws or Regulations that prohibt?

Are there any Additional License or Certification?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Mar 2, 2024

I'd want to check your licensor and your business plan before rendering any opinion, but property management is one of the things real estate brokers are licensed to do. You don't say you are a broker, however, so you may merely be licensed as a sales person, that is, to be an agent for a... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My husband and his dad are on the deed for his dad's house. If his father dies and the will says otherwise, who owns?

My husband and his father are on the deed to his father's house. His father died but the will says that all 3 kids get the estate. So that would mean all 3 kids would be on the deed when he passes. Since my husband was originally on the deed before he died, does that mean it's officially... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on Mar 2, 2024

Your question is missing the exact wording of the deed naming your hubby as a co-owner. If the wording made him a full owner upon Dad's death, then the Will's bequest would be ineffective. But if any interest became part of your Dad's probate estate, then that portion could be... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My husband and his dad are on the deed for his dad's house. If his father dies and the will says otherwise, who owns?

My husband and his father are on the deed to his father's house. His father died but the will says that all 3 kids get the estate. So that would mean all 3 kids would be on the deed when he passes. Since my husband was originally on the deed before he died, does that mean it's officially... View More

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Mar 2, 2024

It all depends on how the deed was written. If the deed gave the co-owners survivorship rights, the surviving owner would own it all regardless of what the Will said (because there would be no interest to pass through the Will as it would have automatically gone to the survivor). However, if the... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My husband and his dad are on the deed for his dad's house. If his father dies and the will says otherwise, who owns?

My husband and his father are on the deed to his father's house. His father died but the will says that all 3 kids get the estate. So that would mean all 3 kids would be on the deed when he passes. Since my husband was originally on the deed before he died, does that mean it's officially... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 2, 2024

The ownership of the property after your father-in-law's death largely depends on how the deed was titled when your husband and his father were placed on it. If the deed lists them as "joint tenants with right of survivorship," then upon his father's death, your husband... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: My husband and his dad are on the deed for his dad's house. If his father dies and the will says otherwise, who owns?

My husband and his father are on the deed to his father's house. His father died but the will says that all 3 kids get the estate. So that would mean all 3 kids would be on the deed when he passes. Since my husband was originally on the deed before he died, does that mean it's officially... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 2, 2024

If the deed is owned as joint tenants, then your husband is now the sole owner and the house is not an asset of his father’s estate, so it doesn’t matter what the Will says.

If the deed is owned as tenants in common, then your husband now owns 50% of the house outright, and the other...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I get free legal assistance in selling my fathers inherited house.
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Mar 2, 2024

If you desire to handle the probate process by yourself without paying for an attorney to handle the full estate, you may find that a hour or so consultation with an experienced estate practitioner can help provide very helpful framework and tools. The average probate case in Maryland takes 9... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I get free legal assistance in selling my fathers inherited house.
Kenesha A Raeford
Kenesha A Raeford
answered on Feb 20, 2024

Possibly! It truly depends on your situation. There are plenty of free and low-cost legal resources around the Maryland area. I first suggest that you consider reaching out to Maryland Legal Aid. Additionally, the Maryland Court system has catalogued several free and low-cost legal services on... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am one day away from closing on a home, but no longer wish to move forward with the purchase.

What type of penalties might I face or right to back out at this point in the process?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

The obvious one is forfeiture of your earnest money deposit (EMD). It is possible you would be sued to specifically enforce the contract and force you to buy it, but that is a long expensive suit that will tie up the sale until it’s over and the seller would prefer to just sell their home—so... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed and I am selling her house. She had a reverse mortgage with balance of 393,000. The appraised value

is 473,300. How much would the estate tax be? I live in Md

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2024

If this is the primary asset and all estate assets are being distributed to a spouse or lineal heirs (children, grandchildren, siblings, parents) there are no inheritance taxes, and no estate tax for estates having a value below $5,000,000. For calculating estate value for estate tax purposes,... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed and I am selling her house. She had a reverse mortgage with balance of 393,000. The appraised value

is 473,300. How much would the estate tax be? I live in Md

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 22, 2024

When dealing with the sale of a property from an estate, such as your mother's house with a reverse mortgage, the primary concern for taxes would typically involve capital gains tax, estate tax, or inheritance tax, depending on various factors including the total value of the estate and the... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: My mother passed and I am selling her house. She had a reverse mortgage with balance of 393,000. The appraised value

is 473,300. How much would the estate tax be? I live in Md

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Feb 13, 2024

Maryland has several different "death taxes" and it really isn't possible to define the taxes without knowing the full context. If an attorney is assisting with the estate they should be able to discuss these in depth based on the specifics of your situation. However, generally... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How to make sure the deposit I’ll have for purchase the home with my husband is eventually a “proof”is my part ?

I’m foreign,no ssn or Itin number .

After 4 years of marriage we should starting my adjustment of status in march and my family is sending money for pay the lawyer fees and help with a deposit for buy a house for me and my family.

The lender is saying my name can be only after the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

In your situation, it's essential to take steps to ensure that the deposit made for the purchase of the home is eventually recognized as your part of the investment, especially considering your immigration status and the joint bank account with your husband.

To establish a clear record...
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