Do this to stay out of probate court

N1909 P17006 C

By Beth Newcomb

Most people who purchase real estate don’t give much thought to the deed. It’s simply a little piece of paper that exists in a file somewhere, waiting to be mailed to the property owner once the mortgage has been satisfied. But it’s actually a much more important part of the equation.

“How the language on your deed reads can mean the difference between having a portion of your property go through probate, or not,” says Jay Nabors, a Cleveland based attorney who focuses on estate planning. “If you own property with a spouse, other relative or friend, and that person dies, without the proper language on the deed, the half that person owned will have to go through probate, which can be costly.”

Jay details the story of a mother who helped her son purchase his first home. Along the way he got married, and the new wife and mother didn’t get along. Both mother and son were on the deed.

“Unfortunately, the man died and his mother didn’t want his portion of the house to go to the wife,” Jay reveals. “But because the language on the deed didn’t transfer the property to the mother upon his death, the man’s half of the home had to go through probate and his wife inherited it. There was nothing the mother could do.”

Jay says many people don’t think about their deed language because their spouse is the co-owner, but that thinking could also result in a trip to probate court.

“I can review your document to ensure it’s titled properly so time and money doesn’t have to be wasted in probate,” he suggests.

Jay is a partner with Weston Hurd LLP. He sees clients at the firm’s office in downtown Cleveland, in addition to meeting with clients in Strongsville upon request. Mention this story when you schedule an appointment. House calls and select evening appointments are available.

To reach Jay Nabors of Weston Hurd LLP, call him directly at 216-687-3205. His office is located at 1301 E. 9th Street, Suite 1900 in downtown Cleveland. Jay can also meet clients at 11221 Pearl Road in Strongsville.