probate for mobile homes

Probate of Mobile/Manufactured Homes in Nevada

What do you do if mom or dad’s estate includes a mobile or manufactured home? There are a few important questions to answer which will dictate the process to follow to transfer the asset to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries.

Has the Mobile/Manufactured Home Been Converted to Real Property? Mobile home ownership information is tracked by the Nevada Department of Manufactured Housing (www.mhd.nv.gov – “NDH”). Title information is searchable on NDH’s website by structure serial number, owner name, or address.

After you have located the relevant mobile home on the NDH website, the entry will state whether the structure has been converted to real property. In Clark and Washoe County, the online property records will also identify whether the mobile home has been converted to real property.

If the mobile or manufactured home has been converted to real property, then you must transfer that asset through probate by way of court order or deed.

Do you have the original title? A manufactured home has a title similar to a car title. If the mobile home has not been converted to real property, then you need to locate the original title. If the original title is lost, you can request a duplicate copy from NDH. You will need a title to make the transfer pursuant to the appropriate probate proceedings as discussed more below.

What is the Value of the Mobile Home? To complete any probate proceeding, you must obtain a reasonable estimate of the total value of the assets, including the mobile home. There are various ways to price a mobile home, including appraisers, online resources, or comparable sales in the area. The value of the mobile home (and any other assets to be dealt with in the probate) will dictate the probate process required to transfer the unit. Assuming the mobile home is worth $25,000 (or $100,000 if you are a surviving spouse), and assuming it has not been converted to real property, the asset can be transferred using an Affidavit of Entitlement form that is available on the NDH website. If the value of the mobile home exceeds $25,000 then you may want to consult a probate attorney to determine the best course to transfer the asset through the appropriate court filings.

There may be other important questions to consider to accomplish the probate transfer of a mobile home, so please call for a free probate consult. Thank you.   

When a Short Sale Might Be Your Best Option for Your Home

 

How a Short Sale Might Assist You

Transcript:

Hi, my name is Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. We deal with a lot of real property issues, and there are times that we help people accomplish a short sale. Pretty much everyone I know has either seen a foreclosure, or a short sale, or a default at some point in the last several years, because so many people have gone through that, here in the Valley; but just so that you know exactly what your short sale options are:

The term short sale just means that you’re selling the property out there in the world, and the proceeds from the sale are not sufficient to cover the loan balance. Let’s use an example. Let’s say you owe $80,000 on a house, but the house is only worth $60,000. The owner of that house basically can get a buyer for $60,000, and go to the bank and say, “Hey, listen, I don’t have enough money to cover all $80,000 that I owe. However, I have this buyer, and rather than default on this and have it go into foreclosure for several years, why don’t you accept this $60,000 buyer, and we’ll basically allow that to wipe out the loan.”

 

Short Sale Home, Las Vegas, Nevada Real Estate

 

It’s very important when you do a short sale that you cross all your T’s and you dot all your I’s, because you don’t want that $20,000 deficiency, in other words the amount of the mortgage that wasn’t covered by the sale, to chase you down, and hunt you down, and follow you around for a long time. That’s, depending on whether not you have a first and/or a second, there’s different rules that apply; but if you’re thinking about short selling your home, please reach out to Clear Counsel Law Group. I’m more than happy to do a no-charge consultation, just to discuss your short sale options, give me a call. Thank you.

Timeshare Rentals, probate, estate planning

Your Timeshare Trouble Will Not Die with You

Timeshares can be a source of endless fun and excitement. However, there is another side1)perhaps a bit nefarious of timeshares that cause significant anger and frustration. This can be said for timeshares while the owner is alive and even more so after s/he is deceased.

The complexity and frustration of transferring ownership in a timeshare after death depends on one simple factor, type of ownership.

Timeshares come in two different forms. A significant portion of the first category of timeshares are deeds. This would be similar to a home or condo. When the timeshare was purchased, a portion of the real property where the timeshare sits is deeded to the purchaser.

A smaller percentage of timeshares are in the second category, contractual right to use. For this type, there is not a deed or real property transfer. The owner of the timeshare has a contractual right to use the facility where the timeshare is located according to the time and dates specified in the contract.

Both types present different issues in transferring the interest in the property or the right to the property at the time of the owner’s life. I will first tell you a little more about each type of timeshare, then more importantly, how to avoid the costly probate process with timeshares.

 

Deeded Timeshares

In Nevada, if the timeshare is a deeded interest, then there must be a probate in Nevada in order to transfer the interest to the beneficiaries or heirs of the decedent. For example, if a Decedent was a resident of Ohio and passed away in Ohio, but held interest in a timeshare in Nevada by deed, then the Decedent would have a probate proceeding in Ohio and a separate probate in Nevada. A probate administration established for the sole purpose of transferring an interest in a timeshare is extremely time consuming and expensive, and most importantly, can be avoided.

 

Contract Timeshares

If the timeshare is a contractual “right to use” and the value of the timeshare is less than $20,000, then in Nevada the beneficiary or heirs of the Decedent can possibly transfer the interest by use of an Affidavit of Entitlement without any court proceedings, with the assumption that there are no other assets in Nevada. If the value is more than $20,000, then it may be necessary for a probate administration to be established. Similar to deeded timeshares, the need for probate can be avoided with contract timeshares.

 

Avoiding Probate

If you own a timeshare in another state or own more than one parcel of real property in different states, the easiest way to avoid costly probate is to create a revocable living trust. A trust, if funded properly, removes the assets from the jurisdiction of the courts and, upon death, the trust will pass ownership interest to the listed beneficiaries of the trust without court involvement. A trust will alleviate the necessity of creating numerous probates in different states.

If you own a timeshare, it is important to contact an estate planning attorney and put the timeshare in a living trust so you do not inadvertently burden your loved ones.  If you have inherited a timeshare, it is important to contact an attorney in the jurisdiction where the timeshare is located to determine your options.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. perhaps a bit nefarious
FIRPTA, real estate, investment property, nevada

Understanding FIRPTA is a Must if You Invest in Property

There are so many things to be concerned with when purchasing a house: Did I get a good price? Will I be able to afford the mortgage? Will the home inspection find all of the problems? Are the schools good? Are the neighbors nice? And so on.

But one thing people likely never think about is: “Am I complying with FIRPTA regulations?” Well you should think about it, and here’s why: A buyer who does not follow FIRPTA regulations can end up having to pay the seller’s capital gains tax!

 

Yikes, You have my attention. Now tell me, what is FIRPTA?

FIRPTA stands for the “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act” and has been the law since 1980. This law was designed to ensure that foreign persons pay taxes when selling or transferring property interests in the United States. The amount of tax owed depends on various factors, including who the seller is and the amount of profit realized from the transaction.

FIRPTA applies to any ownership interest held by a foreign person. The definition of property in the FIRPTA regulation is broad and includes but is not limited to: land, homes, buildings, trailers, natural products attached to the land,1)i.e. mineral rights and other personal property connected with real property. The tax can also apply to interests in corporations that own property, which must be looked at on a case by case basis.

Generally, it is not necessary to know too many details about whom you are buying a home or property from as long you have a good real estate agent working for you. However, for purposes of FIRPTA, you do need to know. This is because FIRPTA puts the burden on the person buying the home or property to comply with the laws even though the tax liability is placed on the seller.

As such, the buyer is required to withhold sufficient monies to pay the FIRPTA tax owed by the foreign seller. The buyer of any property that is owned by a foreign seller must withhold 10% of the sale price or the transfer value to have available for payment of the taxes. A good escrow company will assist buyers and their agents with the mechanics of setting aside the money prior to payment of the taxes on or after the closing of the sale.

 

When you may be exempted from FIRPTA

The withholding is almost always required for the purchaser of FIRPTA covered property with a few of the exceptions:

  1. When a buyer is purchasing a primary residence for less than $300,000.00;
  2. when a buyer receives written assurance from a seller that the seller is not a foreign person;
  3. when you receive certification from the seller that they are not making a profit on the sale; and
  4. you receive a letter from the IRS that you do not have to withhold.

Furthermore, there are several exceptions where a buyer does not have to withhold because the property being disposed of is an interest in a domestic corporation that meets certain qualifications.

If you, as a buyer, think that you are exempt from withholding, always make sure the seller certifies in writing the reason s/he they are exempt. And be diligent in protecting yourself and make sure that the exemption is correct and proper. If a buyer does not withhold taxes, and the taxes go unpaid, the buyer will have to pay the taxes owed on the sale. This is an awfully big price to pay for innocent buyer.

If you have any reason to believe the seller is being dishonest about their exempt status, you should withhold because if they do not pay the tax, you are again on the hook. No harm in being pleasantly surprised after the fact.

But, if there is any doubt about an exemption, it is best to get an attorney involved. Even real estate agents can be held liable if they know the claimed exemption is false and may be held to have to pay the taxes up to the amount of the commission earned on the transaction.

As always, tax regulations are lengthy and complicated. If you have questions about FIRPTA as a buyer, agent, or seller, Clear Counsel is here to help. Our lawyers will analyze the legal implications specific to your transactions and can recommend real estate agents and escrow companies that are best suited to your needs.

As always, we offer a free consultation.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. i.e. mineral rights
Clear Counsel Law group

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