There is a lein on the property. What do we do now to close?

Additional Information:

While preparing to close on my non-mortgaged home in Newton, the buyer’s title search found a lien on the property.  Apparently the closing attorney had not paid back the monies owed by previous owner. What do we do now in order to close?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Since your question does not specify what type of lien was found on the property, I will answer in general terms.  Before one can have a closing or refinance on one’s house, there needs to be a title examination performed to confirm that the title to the house is clean and free of all liens, with the exception of the mortgage(s) which will be paid off as part of the refinance.  If the title shows an outstanding lien of record of the prior owner, one would need to contact the attorney who handled the closing for the sale to determine whether the lien was paid off or not.  If the lien was paid, then the lien holder needs to be contacted so that it can prepare a release/discharge which needs to be recorded at the Registry of Deeds in order to remove the lien off the title.  If the lien has not been paid off, then the closing attorney has to explain why it was not paid off during the closing.  If the matter cannot be resolved with the attorney, then hopefully you have purchased an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance so that the title insurance company may potentially fight the title issue for you.   [Read more…]

Trusted legal advice

“I’ve been working with David for 5 years now. He has been there whenever I need legal advice, and has gone above and beyond in helping me.” – Jeff, Landlord Tenant Client

Buying or selling real estate at auction can be complicated

A small but growing percentage of real estate is being sold at auction. The advantage of an auction for a seller is that the property will definitely be sold quickly, although usually at a lower price. So auctions often attract sellers who simply want to unload a property, such as a lender that has foreclosed on it, or an executor whose heirs want cash and not real estate.

Auctions often attract buyers who are looking for a deal – although auctioned properties are usually sold “as is” with no guarantees, so unless you’ve done careful homework and had everything inspected thoroughly, the property might not be as good a deal as you first thought.

Because auctions are unusual and require special contracts and agreements, a seller will definitely want to work with an attorney as well as an auctioneer. [Read more…]

New disability access requirements take effect in early 2012

The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed 20 years ago and required retail and other commercial business owners to renovate their properties to make them accessible to the disabled. For the first time since then, the U.S. government has comprehensively revised the requirements. The new requirements will go into effect on March 15, 2012.

The changes include new rules for the following: van-accessible parking, maximum height and “reach ranges” for certain objects, service animals, communication devices for the hearing-impaired, seating requirements in theaters and other assembly areas (including access to stages), pool access, hotel reservations, wheelchair accessibility for employees, the use of mobility devices other than wheelchairs (such as Segways), and more. [Read more…]

Is a landlord liable for Madonna’s loud music?

Karen George had a lovely apartment on New York’s Upper West Side, except for one thing – her downstairs neighbor, the pop star Madonna.

According to George, Madonna had people over to her apartment for an hour and a half to three hours every day to conduct dance training and exercise routines. During this time, Madonna played loud music. According to George, the music was “deafening” and caused her walls and floors to shake. She says she often had to leave the apartment because of the noise, and was unable to entertain guests.

George repeatedly complained to Madonna and to the landlord, but she says the loud music continued for two years, until Madonna finally built a dance studio in one of her other New York City properties to use instead. [Read more…]

How to get a better appraisal of your property

Home appraisers are the unofficial umpires of residential real estate sales, deciding whether offering prices are fair or foul. But much more often than in the past, they’re striking out deals and sending buyers and sellers back to the dugout.

Each month, between 10 and 20 percent of real estate agents are seeing accepted offers to buy a home founder or collapse as a result of appraisals that came back too low, according to recent surveys by the National Association of Realtors.

Low appraisals hurt both buyers and sellers. When an appraisal comes back lower than expected, buyers usually can’t qualify for as large a mortgage. That means they have to put up a larger down payment to buy the house – something they often can’t do. As a result, the sale might fall through, or the seller will have to lower the price in order to salvage the deal. [Read more…]

Tremendous in managing estate affairs between MA and FL

“Attorney Beliveau was a tremendous help when my mother took ill down in Florida and could not manage her own affairs. He walked me through the steps and provided documents for me to legally handle her affairs in two states, including protecting her assets. He and his staff were polite and efficient in their work.” – Bob Bedford, MA, Estate Planning

The sellers did not complete the work they were supposed to before we closed on the house.

Additional Information:

What are allowable damages for real estate misrepresentation under Massachusetts law? We signed a P & S for our first home in Belmont.  The P & S had multiple items that were supposed to be completed by the seller prior to closing. They did not complete the work and now refuse to return our deposit money.  What are our legal rights?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

When the P&S specifically states that the Seller is to make certain repairs prior to closing, and if the work is not completed according to the agreement, then the Seller is breaking the contract and you have the right to terminate the contract and to have your deposit returned.  Your deposit money is held in an escrow account with the listing agent’s company who cannot release the funds until a release form is signed by both you and the Seller.  You can file a complaint in court against the Seller to have the money returned back to you. [Read more…]

Probate in Waltham MA

If you have been named the executor of an estate, you may want help with the sometimes complex and lengthy process of guiding the will through probate. A skilled Massachusetts probate attorney can help the executor prepare and file the required probate court paperwork, including the petition, inventory, and account, arrange for the appraisal of the assets of the deceased, give proper legal notice to the decedent’s beneficiaries and the estate’s creditors, arrange for payment of final bills, prepare and file estate and fiduciary tax returns, distribute assets among the estate’s beneficiaries according to the terms of the will, and close the estate once probate is complete.

We are Waltham MA probate attorneys. Call us to schedule an appointment to discuss your probate matter.

Lawsuit could help seniors who move from a hospital to a nursing home

Medicare will cover a nursing home stay entirely for the first 20 days, as long as the patient was first admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for at least three days. But a growing number of seniors are finding that Medicare won’t pay for a nursing home stay because they weren’t actually “admitted” as an inpatient at the hospital – they were merely held under “observation.”

Frequently, these patients have no idea that they weren’t actually admitted. They were given a bed and a wristband, nurses and doctors came to see them, and they received treatment and tests just as if there had been a formal admission. [Read more…]

Tax deductions for long-term care insurance are increased

The amount you can deduct on your taxes as a result of buying long-term care insurance has been increased by the IRS for 2012.

If you itemize your deductions, you can generally deduct part of your premiums if the premiums, together with your other unreimbursed medical expenses, amount to more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

The maximum amount of premiums you can deduct each year depends on your age at the end of the year. [Read more…]

Government long-term care insurance program is scrapped

A part of the new federal health care law that would have set up a voluntary, government-run insurance program for long-term care has been scrapped by the Obama Administration.

The program, known as the “CLASS Act,” would have allowed people to pay monthly premiums for five years, after which they would be eligible for future benefits to help pay for long-term care services that are not covered by Medicare.

But the Administration has concluded that there’s no way to make the program financially self-sustaining, as required by the law. [Read more…]

Many older powers of attorney and health care proxies should be reviewed

Many power of attorney and health care proxy documents that were created years ago should be revised now as a result of a federal medical privacy law.

The law, known as HIPAA, generally prevents health care providers from disclosing your personal medical information to anyone but you and someone you’ve named as your “personal representative.”

Medical privacy is a good thing – but the law can create complications. [Read more…]

How to give assets to your grandchildren (but keep control)

Many older people would like to make significant gifts to their grandchildren, in order to help them and in order to reduce the size of their own estate for tax purposes. But they also worry that the grandchildren won’t be able to handle large sums of money.

The good news is that you can give each of your grandchildren up to $13,000 a year without incurring any gift tax. If you’re married, your spouse can also give each grandchild up to $13,000 a year.

The bad news is that young people are notoriously immature with money, and simply handing a young adult a big windfall won’t necessarily result in the wisest and most cautious financial decisions. [Read more…]

Knowledgeable, thorough, patient, and personable

“I found David to be knowledgeable, thorough, patient, and personable when he handled estate planning for me. He went through the pros and cons of various options related to trusts and other estate planning issues so I was able to make good decisions in light of various complex choices. I was pleased with David’s professionalism and helpful nature. ” – Elizabeth, Estate Planning