Katy Real Estate Lawyer
Protecting Your Interests in Real Estate Matters
Whether you are buying land, selling a house, or negotiating a real estate deal, having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can make all the difference. When you work with Barker Law Firm PC, you can rest assured that we will protect your rights and help you navigate the transaction or dispute with ease. Our Katy real estate attorney, Georgia Barker, handles real estate matters incident to probate and divorce in Texas. Our firm also handles real estate matters involving oil and gas rights issues.
Choose Barker Law Firm PC for assistance with:
- Transfer of property as a part of a probate proceeding
- Deeds incident to divorce
- Drafting and review of hunting and grazing leases
- Due diligence
- Easement and boundary line disputes
- Entity formation for investment property
- Executor's deeds
- Living trusts
- Land trusts
A deed is a very common mechanism for transferring property interests from one party to another.
Texas law allows for many types of deeds, including:
- Warranty deeds
- Special warranty deeds
- Deeds without warranty
- Deeds in lieu of foreclosure
- Deeds incident to divorce
- Executor's deeds
- Correction deeds
You may have also heard of "quitclaim deeds." A quitclaim is not exactly a deed, despite the name. It is basically a document conveying or acknowledging that the "grantor" has no rights or claims to the property at issue.
In a real estate transaction, it is important to use the right type of deed for the situation at hand. Each type of deed conveys different rights, obligations, and even restrictions on the usage of the property at issue.
Co-Ownership of Real Property
In Texas, as in many states, multiple people can be co-owners of the same property, regardless of whether they are married to each other or not. Depending on the type of co-ownership, there are different results when it comes to inheritance. The basic types of co-ownership are tenancy-in-common and joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.
Under Texas law, co-owners who are not spouses are presumed to be tenants-in-common. Tenants-in-common will generally have the same qualitative rights to the property (such as rights of possession and access), though they may have different shares in the property. When one of the owners dies, his or her share does not pass to the surviving owner, as it would in a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Instead, it passes to the decedent's heirs or beneficiaries.
Co-owners who are spouses are not automatically considered to be joint tenants with rights of survivorship either. Rights of survivorship must be spelled out in the deed. A true joint tenancy with rights of survivorship means that the survivor will inherit the property without the property passing through probate. However, unless the deed specifically states that the property is owned as a joint tenancy, the decedent's will or Texas estate laws will control who inherits the property.
Joint tenancies and tenancies-in-common can be created upon the acquisition of the property or can be created later by transfer of a share of the property to a co-owner. You may do this to allow someone to help take care of the property, to avoid probate, or to achieve some other goal.
A very important point to remember is that adding another owner to your property is not just as simple as adding that person to your deed.
There are other considerations, including:
- Whether the lender on the mortgage will consent to the transfer
- Whether there will be capital gains and/or gift tax consequences to the transfer
- Whether the transfer will render the grantor ineligible for Medicaid benefits
- Whether homestead benefits and exemptions will be forfeited
Before concluding that adding someone else to the deed is the only option for you, make sure you walk through all the potential consequences with your Katy real estate attorney.
In the realm of real estate law, "mineral rights" can refer to many different types of minerals but are most often thought of in the context of oil and natural gas interests. For families who have lived for many generations in Texas, it is not uncommon for people to inherit rights to land with oil and/or gas. These rights can be very valuable, especially if the oil and gas are still producing. Our firm handles issues involving the mineral rights of landowners, whether the minerals are part of the owner's residence or located elsewhere.
To learn more about our services, call Barker Law Firm PC at (713) 597-3911.