I swear this is a true story. I cannot make this stuff up, I'm not that imaginative!!
I had a gentleman come into my office yesterday who wanted me to do two simple deeds for him. Or so he thought!! As he and I sat discussing these two properties he needed new deeds on the story unfolds as follows:
The client, John, owned two parcels with a business partner, Frank; John and Frank have owned these properties as joint tenants since the early 1980's. In May,2012, John decided that for estate planning purposes he wanted to sever the joint tenancy and create a tenancy in common with Frank. Frank agreed to this and new deeds are drawn executed and recorded. So, now John and Frank are tenants in common, their partnership remains intact and really nothing much has changed except that John is assured that his children will benefit from this estate planning tool.
AND THEN, in June, 2012, Frank is murdered!! Seriously!! Frank owned several businesses and one of his businesses was robbed, he was killed in the robbery. ENTER THE VULTURES!
Frank was a wealthy businessman with many assets. He leaves no wife or children behind and he leaves no will. His parents have been appointed as Personal Representatives of his Estate and are in the midst of administering the estate; etc. John, who has known these folks for years, goes to them and says, "hey, I need to get these properties back into my name solely, will you sign a Deed over to me? The properties are both encumbered by small mortgages, which I will pay off, I just need a new deed" .
The vultures response; YUP, give me $15K per property and pay off the underlying the debt and the properties are all yours!! "
So now what should have been two simple deeds has resulted in John having to go through actual settlement transactions on both parcels as well as his personal residence to enable him to acquire the entire estate in his own name (he has to borrow money to pay the 30K to the vultures).
Some people!! Even in the aftermath of the death of thier child these vultures are only thinking about MONEY; they have given no consideration to the fact that John and Frank had been business partners for years, that John and Frank had paid down the debt together (as part of their business) on these properties. All they can see are the dollar signs.
I feel for John, I really do. Had he delayed his decision to have new deeds executed he would have been sole owner, he would not have to encumber his personal residence and his family would still have been protected. TIMING, it's all about TIMING