ct real estate title law

2016 Connecticut Law Changes How A Trust Handles Real Estate

Trusts and Real Estate Conveyance

Trusts can be used for a variety of purposes in estate and wealth planning. A common use for a Trust is to hold real estate property. Whether holding the real estate is the sole purpose of the Trust, or just one of the assets with which the Trust is funded, the real estate must be conveyed into the Trust, and one day the property may be sold and will need to be conveyed out of the Trust to a Buyer.

The Current Law for Conveying Real Estate into a Trust

Currently, the law regulating transfers of real estate property into a Trust holds that a Deed conveying real estate to a Trust directly does not convey good title because a Trust does not have the capacity to hold title to land. In order to properly convey title the Deed must name the Trustee of the Trust as the “Grantee”, or individual receiving the property. The idea here being that the Trustee is holding and caring for the property on behalf of the Trust.

If the property is in fact conveyed to a Trust directly, it is not validated until 2 years have passed without issue.

When it came time to transfer the property out of the Trust, once again the Trustee would be needed, but it is in fact the Trustee who is holding the property.

New Law Takes Effect October 1, 2016

Coming into effect this October is Public Act 16-194 which changes the procedure for transferring real estate property into a Trust. The Act reads:

“Any conveyance of an interest in land to a trust rather than the trustee or trustees of the trust shall constitute a valid and enforceable transfer of that interest. Any conveyance by the trust, which conveyance is signed by a duly authorized trustee of such trust, shall be treated as if the conveyance was made by the trustee.”

The new law should resolve any confusion or problem when transferring property into or out of a trust by allowing the trust, and therefore any trustee, to convey the real estate.

foreclosure defense attorney

Right to Foreclosure Mediation Extended to Divorcees and Surviving Spouses – Connecticut Public Act No. 15-124

Right to Foreclosure Mediation for Divorcees and Surviving Spouses

Connecticut Public Act 15-124 – An Act Extending The Foreclosure Mediation Program

One of the benefits of being in a multi-partner law firm is the overlap between our different practice areas, allowing us to better help our clients in difficult situations. Since our firm represents divorce clients, probate clients, and foreclosure clients, Connecticut Public Act no. 15-124 is going to allow us to help clients better solve their foreclosure issues when relating to residential real estate property that was part of divorce or probate proceedings.

The Problem Was Standing

Perhaps you are a divorcee. You just finished the long and stressful process of divorce. Part of the Court ordered Divorce Decree is that your ex-spouse execute a quitclaim deed transferring a house or condominium to your ownership. The deed is drafted and recorded on the land records and as far as you are concerned the property is now yours.

Perhaps your spouse recently passed away. You just finished the extremely complicated probate process. In their will your spouse left you residential real estate property. The Executor of your spouse’s estate drafted an Executor’s Deed, which was approved by the probate court and recorded on the land records, transferring title in the property to you.

In either case, let’s assume there was a mortgage on the property. Either your ex-spouse had not been making payments or the probate estate had not been making payments and the mortgage is in default. Or, even if the payments are current, the mortgage has a “due on transfer” clause, which states that if the property is ever transferred from the ownership of the borrower under the mortgage, the entire outstanding amount is due and payable in full. As is common, the collateral on the mortgage is the property itselfThe bank is now foreclosing on the property.

As the new owner, you want to enter foreclosure mediation so that you can find a way to keep your family home; through mortgage modification or refinance. Until October 1, 2015, YOU COULDN’T!

The issue was standing! Since you were not a party to the mortgage, you had no “privity of contract”, and therefore no standing to challenge the foreclosure in court. The foreclosure would proceed and the bank would be allowed to either repossess or sell your property to pay off the money owed to them.

The Connecticut Legislature Solves The Problem

The Connecticut Legislature saw the issue of removing spouses from the family home without letting them be heard when a court order had given them possession of the residential real estate property. After all, how is it fair to completely stonewall the new owner of the property from mediating a solution to the foreclosure?

Therefore, Public Act No. 15-142 has extended the foreclosure mediation process to include spouses who became “successors in interest” due to divorce, separation, or death of the other spouse.

What this means for our clients

The new law allows the divorcee or decedent’s spouse to stand in the shoes of the previous owner, at least as far as defending against foreclosure of the property is concerned. This means that we can now offer assistance to our foreclosure clients who became owners through divorce or death of their spouse. Previously, we would have had to turn these people away as there was no legal procedure available for us to resolve their problem. It is not guaranteed that the successor-in-interest spouse will be allowed to keep the property, but at least now they have a fighting chance.

attorneys for young professionals

Attorneys for Young Professionals

Attorneys for Young Professionals

Let us be your lawyers for life!

At Glouzgal Ramos Groth LLP, we are a firm comprised of three attorneys in their thirties. As young professionals ourselves, we are able to cater to other young professionals such as doctors, nurses, financial advisers, accountants, insurance agents, real estate agents, teachers and professors, life and success coaches, etc. Our young professional clients appreciate our ability to communicate on their level, use technology to improve the flow of information and their overall attorney experience, and in general understand the hardships and demands of the modern landscape for young professionals.

Below are some of the practice areas we serve and some examples of how we help our young professional clients meet their needs within those areas of law.

Business Formation, Planning & Licensing

Whether you just graduated school or have been working for somebody else gaining experience, you may be looking to open your own business or practice. One of the things they don’t teach you in grad school, and that your previous employers are not likely to share with you, is how to start, plan and run a business. Many of our first encounters with our young professional clients are when they are trying to go out on their own but don’t know how to handle much of the business paperwork that was previous done on their behalf. Should they form a partnership, an LLC or a corporation? How should they handle partners or investors? Are they allowed to have partners or investors under State laws? What licensing will they need? What types of insurance will they need? What contracts do they need to sign with their clients and customers? How about a business plan to seek funding? Should they be charging sales tax?

We can assist our clients by identifying all of the needs of their business, the barriers it will have to get over, and how we will attack those barriers. We have the knowledge, experience and software to meet all the business law needs of our young professional clients.

Real Estate – Purchases, Sales & Refinance

Many young professionals are beginning to reap the fruits of their labor; they are finally starting to make decent money after years of education and training. One of the first things many think about, and perhaps the most important purchase of their life, is buying a home. Whether buying a condominium or a house, there are many specific considerations that go into the legal process of buying a home. As first time homeowners, young professionals need a little extra help when buying their first home. Our real estate attorneys are ready to guide our clients from contract signing to closing.

Perhaps the young professional bought a home before they were making good money, and now their income and credit score have improved. It might be a good idea to consider a refinance, lowering your interest rate and perhaps the length of the mortgage, saving you lots of money over the life of the loan. Or maybe they want to sell their condo and buy a house – we can manage a sale and purchase for the same day!

Wills, Estate Planning and Probate

Until they begin working in their profession and building up wealth, many young professionals do not feel like they own anything worth putting into a will, so many do not consider an estate plan. First, you should always have an estate plan, even if that plan is to not draft documents and allow the laws of intestacy (dying without a will) control the distribution of your assets. Second, once the money starts rolling in and the young professional owns a car, has a home, marries and has kids, the issue of what will happen to their money and will it provide for those they care about becomes very important. Young professionals also need special considerations in the modern age: child protection plans, social media property distribution, and an increased need for privacy are just some of those considerations.

As we age so do our loved ones, such as our parents and grandparents. Issues such as the need for special needs trusts or probate estate administration after the death of a loved one begin to arise. Our firm can handle the estate planning and administration needs of multiple generations; and we hope to serve the next generation too (the children of our current young professional clients).

Tax Planning & Resolution

With increasing wealth come higher taxes. The more you make the more you pay; unless you can spend it properly by investing in the future of your business. Our tax attorney can review your industry, financial situation, assets and liabilities and advise you of the most tax-advantaged ways to put your money to use.

Some young professionals have also already dug a hole for themselves with the IRS or State. Perhaps you had a job as a waiter, and now you have unpaid or unclaimed income tax debts due to the IRS. Maybe you improperly set up your service business, did not charge sales tax on the services you provided, and now the CT DRS is coming after you for uncollected or unremitted Sales & Use Tax debts. Our tax resolution attorneys can help you appeal government determinations, comply with audits, and resolve your tax debts using an array of methods available to those who know and understand tax law and procedures.

Family Law – Divorce & Child Custody

Sometimes we make decisions when we are younger that we spend our entire lives dealing with. An error only becomes a mistake if you do nothing to fix it. The impact of such decisions can be minimized. Whether you are in an early marriage that has become unhappy or abusive or you are seeking child custody or a modification of the custody agreement due to a change in circumstances, our family law attorney is ready to assist with your family matters in a way that has the least negative impact on the family relationship.

Young Professionals Need Proper Representation

At Glouzgal Ramos Groth LLP, we know the modern landscape and how treacherous it can seem. Young professionals are the future of the the middle class and upper middle class, and will be the backbone of the United States in the decades to come. Without proper planning and guidance, the years of education, training and labor in your industry could be jeopardized.

As a young professional, you need to protect your property, your money, and your family; but most importantly yourself. As attorneys for young professionals, we help our clients review their life situation, not just their one individual need at that moment. We want to help you make the right legal decisions, place the right planning into action before it is too late, and get out of hot water if the need arises.

No matter what your needs as a young professional are, we are here to help; even if it does not fall into our area of expertise, we will help find you the right attorney to handle your needs. If you need our help, contact us today by calling 203-740-1400.

what to do with a will after death

What To Do With A Will

What Should I Do With The Will Of A Loved One?

What To Do With A Will After A Death

Most people know what a will is and that it contains the wishes of a loved one who has passed away. However, when that time comes, most people have no idea what to do with a loved one’s will that has been left in their possession. Until Probated, a will is just a piece of paper. If you found the will of somebody who has passed away, or “Testator”, you need to take steps to get the will legally recognized.

If you are the “Executor”, or the person specifically chosen in the will to probate it, you need to deliver the will to the proper Probate Court within 30 days of the Testators death. The proper Probate Court will be dependent on the location of the domicile of the Testator at the time of their death. Click for a Directory of Connecticut Probate Courts.

If you are not the named Executor but are in possession of the will, you can deliver it to the named Executor or the Probate Court within 30 days after becoming aware of their death or within 30 days of discovering the will.

If you are in possession of a will and fail to get it into the hands of the correct individuals, there may be civil or criminal penalties.

If you need to Probate a Will in Fairfield County and don’t want to handle it on your own, contact our Connecticut licensed probate attorneys at Glouzgal Ramos Groth LLP. We can handle Probate matters on behalf of the fiduciaries who would otherwise have the responsibility. We have experience with the Danbury Probate Court and the Bethel Probate Court and know the policies and procedures that would throw the common person for a loop. Contact us today at 203-740-1400.