Legal Matters Related to Residential Real Estate Transactions

If you are looking to buy or sell residential or vacant real estate in the state of Michigan, an experienced residential real estate attorney can help you with all the legal aspects of the real estate process.

Waltman Law PLLC can assist you in the following areas:

  • Preparation of Deeds, Power of Attorneys, and Certificates of Trust
  • Preparation and review of purchase agreements, mortgages, land contracts
  • Review and preparation of storage unit agreements
  • Review of Closing Documents for the Sale or Purchase of your residence, vacation property, vacant land
  • Land Contract Forfeitures
  • Quiet Title Actions

Common Deed Types

Ladybird Deed – A ladybird deed is a means of essentially adding a beneficiary to your real estate. The grantor retains their interest in the property and the right to change the deed, sell the property, or refinance as needed. Upon the death of the owner(s) the individual or trust who is listed as the subsequent owner would record a death certificate at the register of deeds and they would then be recognized as the legal owner of the property. This is commonly viewed as a way to avoid probate if all other assets have been addressed by the addition of a beneficiary or are held jointly with others.

Why use a ladybird deed instead of adding the person to the property with a quit claim deed? If you add an individual so that they have a current ownership interest, they must agree to any future disposition changes, sales, and refinances. If they have creditors pursuing them on a deed, a judgment lien may attach to your real estate. If you or they file for bankruptcy, your property, or a portion of it, may be at risk.

Quit Claim Deed – A quit claim deed is frequently used between individuals but also provides the least protection. The grantor who is transferring the property is transferring what they have and nothing more. If there is a problem with the title that occurred years ago, they have no duty to clear the title. The most common use is when someone purchases property prior to marriage and now wants to add their spouse.

Warranty Deed – A warranty deed is recommended when purchasing property. The grantor is warranting that they have good title to the property. If an issue arises, the grantor has a duty to clear the title. If a title insurance policy was purchased at the time of transfer that insurance policy may cover the costs related to clearing the title. Note tile insurance policies have various restrictions so it is important to know what is and is not covered. One common exclusion is mineral rights.

With residential real estate attorney services provided by Waltman Law PLLC, we can help you navigate these deeds and select the appropriate one for your current situation.

The following are links to local title companies:

Alpine Title & Escrow of Otsego County

Antrim County Title Inc.

Lighthouse Group

Contact us today for a free consultation about our residential real estate attorney services.