Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 2 months ago

What do I do if someone leaves me a paper that says they transferred their house to me for $1?

One of my relatives was going into the nursing home.  Somebody found an envelope with my name on it inside their bank box.  Inside the envelope was a paper that said "Warranty Deed" and a paper attached to it that said "Transfer of Deed".   According to the paper, the deed was transferred to me for $1.  It was dated March 1, 2008.

I either don't remember this or didn't know about it.  It was all notarized and the transfer form appeared to be the pink copy of a 3 or more part form.   My dad thinks a copy was filed with the county register of deeds.  

The relative in question has Alzheimer's, is not expected to be able to return home and the family was getting ready to sell the house.  Needless to say, some people are downright pissed.  Several have said there is no way this can be legal and they would contest it in court if necessary.

What do I do now?  The family wants to sell the house and this person's only asset is their house so they will likely be on Medicaid as soon as their savings runs out.  It's my understanding that the house would need to sell for fair market value and the money would either be used to pay for nursing home expenses or repay Medicaid.

If I don't do anything, the family will proceed with trying to sell the house as they say the paper I have is worthless.  My only involvement in this case is the fact that I was handed a sealed envelope with my name on it and the 2 mentioned papers inside.



11 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The paper you have is not worthless.  Your relative transferred the house to you to keep it out of the reach of Medicaid.  It was done more than 5 years ago, so you're in the clear. You can check the county real estate records to make sure the transfer was recorded. If it was, you own the house and the rest of the family can't sell it out from under you.  You need to make an appointment with an attorney.

  • 2 months ago

    Likely nothing.  The paper is worthless.  To transfer ownership of real property (real estate) it requires the grantor (the relative) and the grantee (you) to both sign the new deed, All signatures to be notarized, AND the deed must be recorded.  If the deed was recorded with your signature you can verify it was actually yours by contacting the notary who witnessed it.  But c'mon, you don't remember signing a deed and have it notarized?

    This is a common con that heirs try to pull on Medicaid when they come to realize that real property owned by the Medicaid  recipient become subject to claim by Medicaid unless sold at least 5 years prior.  They typically choose the relative who they trust the most to share the proceeds when sold or the relative dumb enough not to realize the con job that is being perpetrated.  In either scenario, Medicaid is not gullible and will press charges and sue if they smell fraud.  If you are amid the scam, you need to bring it to the attention to Medicaid to separate yourself from those trying to defraud the federal government.

  • 2 months ago

    Contact the county assessor's office or county records department and ask for copies of the ownership records on the home.

    If the county records show that you own the home then you own it - you may owe 12 years worth of property taxes or it may have even been repossessed by the county for lack of tax payments, but the county can give you that info as well.

    If the records show that you own it and family members attempt to contest it in court then hire a property attorney to review everything and advise you on how to proceed. You may want to file a "quiet title" suit in court which is a way of clearing any previous claims anyone had on the property and making sure you are the sole owner free & clear. Again - have your attorney advise you on specifics.

  • 2 months ago

    As the posters have said it's probably yours.  But I question the 3 part form.  A warranty deed does not have carbon copies.  But if it had been transferred to you, you would have received a tax bill each year.

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    First thing required is to check land registry and see if the property is in your name or not..if it is then you own the home and no one can sell it as it belongs to you, if it was done in 2008 then it was legally done over a decade ago and no nursing home has any claim on the property

  • 2 months ago

    If the deed was filed, you own the house.  This is easy to find out, just search the property records, can probably do it online through the County.  If you give the address, we can probably find out.  If it actually is yours and the person's name is no longer on it, then Medicaid cannot take it (and of course, the family cannot sell it, as you own it)

  • 2 months ago

    First, I would check with the county register of deeds to see if a copy was filed.

    Second, if the family isn't going to get any of the money anyway (because it's all going to go to medicaid or the nursing home), maybe you could make a deal with them where they agree not to contest it if you agree to give them some of the money (I don't know large a percentage it would have to be, but if you give them anything, that's more than they would get if medicaid got everything).

    However, my real concern is that somebody forged these documents so that medicaid and/or the nursing home wouldn't get the money from the house.

    Don't do anything or sign anything until you talk to a lawyer and make sure that YOU won't have to repay medicaid.

  • 2 months ago

    You talk to a lawyer as your first step. 

  • 2 months ago

    if it was somehow transferred to you without your knowledge, i assume your relative continued to pay taxes on it....most areas would foreclose is taxes weren't paid.

    since the house was transferred to you more than 5 years ago, medicaid won't take it.  you really need to invest in a lawyer on this one to make sure you have actually legally owned the house for 12 years.

    family can't sell the house if the deed is recorded in your name, but I don't see how it could be transferred to you without your knowledge...i would think you would have had to sign something.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It may not be theirs to give or yours to sell if they are on medicaid.

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