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Massachusetts Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Claiming "Senior Circuit breaker" Tax Credit with Multiple people on deed

My mother in law use to claim the massachsuetts "Senior Circuit Breaker" Credit on her taxes for years (She is 92). Last year after her stroke she revised her will and put myself and my husband on the deed to the house with here via quitclaim deed and retaining life estate (so technically... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 22, 2024

In Massachusetts, the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is designed for senior citizens who meet certain criteria, including property ownership and occupancy. Even though the deed to the house now includes you and your husband, the fact that your mother-in-law retains a life estate means she still... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought my home in 2019.Refinanced 2021 and added BF to all aspects of loan.i have equity. what is he entitled to?

prior to him signing i had already gained $160k of equity. If we were to sell is he only entitled to what was gained from Refinance till now?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 22, 2024

He was added to the Deed as a title holder either as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant most likely and would have the right to seek a Partition of his undivided interest and the portion of equity he contributed to would be either determined by agreement of the parties or through Court... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought my home in 2019.Refinanced 2021 and added BF to all aspects of loan.i have equity. what is he entitled to?

prior to him signing i had already gained $160k of equity. If we were to sell is he only entitled to what was gained from Refinance till now?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 22, 2024

What was your agreement with your BF when he signed the loan documents in 2021? Did you convey title to him or did he merely sign the new mortgage? What, if anything, did he pay you for an interest in the property? Has he paid any mortgage payments, contributed to the upkeep and maintenance of the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I am in Massachusetts and want to sell my half of real property inherited to my sister. But for her to do that I need

to hold the mortgage until interest rates come down. Is a mortgage deed the best way to do this?

Phil A. Taylor
Phil A. Taylor
answered on Jan 15, 2024

Your question is not clear. Generally, two persons cannot be forces to hold title to real property together. When one wants to sell, and the other does, not a Petition to Partition is filed and the court will then appoint a commissioner either divide the land, if possible to do so, or to sell the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My siblings and I recently inherited our parents’ house after they died. One of my brothers wants to purchase the house.

If the house is appraised at $450,000, does my brother pay me and my other sibling ⅓ each ($150,000) or ½ each ($225,000)? Since he will be owning the house and could turn around and sell it at any time, does he also get a portion (1/3) of its value? Is that getting two bites of the proverbial... View More

Phil A. Taylor
Phil A. Taylor
answered on Jan 15, 2024

If you and your siblings each now own a 1/3 interest in the property and one sibling wants to purchase your interest and the interest of the other sibling, then the sibling would pay 2/3 of the fair market value (give or take depending on how the other costs, savings are addressed). The sibling... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How to go about taking EX off property, he refused to make mortgage payments for the past 6 years.

I own a home together with my EX partner in Massachusetts who I have a permanent restraining order against, we were never married. We have minor children together. I have been the only one making payments for our mortgage for over 6 years because my EX refused to pay any mortgage payments for 6... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 19, 2023

In Massachusetts, removing an ex-partner's name from a property title, especially when there are disagreements, can be complex. Since both of you jointly own the home, both parties must agree to any changes in ownership or refinancing. If your ex is not cooperating, you might need to take... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi. Can my partner quitclaim deed his property to me or change it to joint tenancy? He has a mortgage in the property.

Thank you in advance

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Nov 1, 2023

Generally mortgages have terms that a transfer of the property can calls the promissory note in or due to be paid, called a "due on sale " clause, but the owner can contact the mortgage holder and inquire about adding you as an owner and their preferred mechanism to do so with regard to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Real Estate Law and Appeals / Appellate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My brother missed a court hearing in Massachusetts and he was placed in receivership. He was never got the letter.

How does he appeal the decision?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 21, 2023

In Massachusetts, if your brother missed a court hearing and was subsequently placed in receivership, but never received the letter notifying him of the hearing, he should consider seeking legal advice as soon as possible for the specific steps to take in his situation. Generally, he might be able... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If a quitclaim to add spouse to the title of the house is not registered, do I still need his signature to sell?

I am married, but the house and mortgage are in my name only. If I add my spouse to the title through a quitclaim deed but don't register it, would the spouse be a legal co-owner of the house? If I die, how would the unregistered quitclaim affect the spouse's ownership of the property?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 18, 2023

If you convey property to another, whether you record the deed or not, the grantee owns the property and in order to convey to a third party, both of you must sign the deed. How the property is disposed on your death depends on how you and the grantee take title. If you convey to the grantee as... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex has end stage dementia-I am his POA/HCP-hold mortgage on 1/2 house he shares-Can I get lieu deed before he dies?

I have never been paid any interest & want to keep family property safe. I have already paid off one other foreclosure on the property to keep it safe. It is shared (TIC) with his niece. I do not want to force sale of the property when he dies to get my money, so would like to deal with this... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 1, 2023

So I understand correctly, your ex owns the house as tenants in common with his niece and you have a mortgage on his interest in the property only. You propose to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure of his interest in the house. Following such a transfer, you will be tenants in common with the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am a homeowner living in Marlborough, MA in Middlesex County . My parents(now both deceased) bought the home in 1965.

In 1994 we had a detached garage built on our property. Our new neighbors told me they were going to have their property surveyed. They did, and according to their surveyors, a corner of our garage is encroaching their property by one foot. Nothing further has developed either by them or by me. My... View More

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jul 13, 2023

To claim adverse possession you would need an adjudication of same from the Land Court and should involve real estate counsel in order for good title to your property to be passed, unless you want to adhere to the official meter and bounds as stated in the Deed and remove the garage or offending... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a trust protect my home purchased before marriage if I am to get divorced?
Michael M Marques
Michael M Marques
answered on Jun 21, 2023

There are a couple of factors to review. a) Was the home placed in a trust prior to or after the marriage? b) Is the trust revocable or irrevocable? c) Whose benefit was the trust intended for? Until recently, trusts were seen as assets when a court decided how assets were to be distributed upon... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father had 3 or 4 strokes less than a month before signing to sell his house now they are taking him to court for it
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jun 2, 2023

Assuming that your father is a Massachusetts resident for his thumbnail response: Your father may well have been infirm and not competent to enter into the sale agreement in which case an Equity case on his behalf should be commenced along with a Guardianship and Conservatorship petition... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Lived in parents house for 10yrs after parent passed away; Executor; sold for 150K; how much should I give sibling

97K mortgage was paid from 150K; utility, and home maintenance fees.

Mass probate

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Apr 22, 2023

From your question, I assume you and one sibling inherited the home, that you continued living in the home for ten years while your sibling did not, that you are the only one who made the payments mentioned, and that you have been an adult for the full ten years.

Determine the fair rental...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I get a redemption for a real estate tax taking in Massachusetts?

My local tax collectors office filed a tax taking back in 2008 for outstanding real estate taxes due on an investment property? The delinquent taxes were paid by my mortgage servicer from my escrow account.

A recent title search shows the 2008 tax taking lien recorded, but a redemption or... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 12, 2023

If the tax title amount has been paid, the town is required to issue a redemption. The town is permitted, but not required , to request the recording fee for recording the certificate as a condition of providing the certificate, and then must record the certificate. I believe the recording fee for... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: What are steps to take with my mother's estate when she passes away with no will.

My mother and I live in Massachusetts. I have an older brother who lives in NY. My mother is 75 with failing health. My mother owns a house in NY and a house in MA. She has a couple of retirement accounts and has savings and checking accounts. She refuses to get a will. I have asked her to do this... View More

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Mar 31, 2023

Your mother appears to reside in Massachusetts and assuming that is the case she would be intestate and depending upon her marital status and whether you and your brother are the only children she has, you and brother have equal ability to file a Petition for Probate of her estate upon her death.... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My neighbor passed in 2016; before her passing she had a will which identified me as the executor of the will.

I did not act on the will because the daughter moved in and I didn't want to upset her. However, the daughter recently passed and now there are no living relatives. Is the mom's will still executable?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Mar 13, 2023

I agree that consulting an Estate attorney concerning this matter would be the route to take. A public forum can only provide some basic information. If you are in possession of the original will and were named the Executor now referred to as Personal Representative, you had a duty to move... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Should a builder have disclosed detention pond near condo house?

I bought a new construction condo house 15 months ago that I am supposed to close on, in a few days. The plans and agreement showed that there is a wetland in the area far from my house but a vast green area beside my lot which was the main factor to choose this exact lot. For the last few months,... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Mar 6, 2023

You should review this with your attorney as soon as possible to review all the facts and documents because you may have the basis of a claim. If you do not want to go forward with the purchase you should establish a strategy and get input from your attorney on the costs and benefits of litigating... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: House owner went into property before scheduled walk thru

My ex fiancé and mother went in on a house together. When we broke up he wanted to kick my mom out, we sued him for breach of contract when he filled for evection. We won and my mom has until February 28, 2023 to vacate the property at that time we will do a walk thru of premises and then he will... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Feb 28, 2023

I assume your ex's entry into the property violated the parties' settlement agreement. However, you do not articulate any harm to you or your mother as a result of his acts and therefore you would not be entitled to damages. Therefore, it does not seem to be in your interest to reopen the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Why would a town restrict occupancy of my home from year round to 6 months if I sell the property? Is there a loophole?

I would like to buy the home but I fear upon purchase, the house would go into a 6 month occupancy (required by the town). I would prefer to keep the house year round. Is there a workaround? Has new legislation opened things up?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2023

The reasons for a town to restrict the occupancy of a home from year-round to 6 months may vary depending on the specific regulations and zoning laws in that area. However, it is often done to preserve the character of the community, maintain the quality of life for residents, and prevent... View More

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