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Top 3 Property Law Issues Before the Holidays


Property division can be a significant legal issue on its own or part of a larger case. Whether you were selling your home or transferring it to another person, property law can be a complex matter. The holiday season can often add to the stress of any property dispute as families require a home to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. A skilled lawyer can help navigate any property law issues to help you reach the best outcome for you or your family:

Christmas Tree and GiftsProperty Disclosures

The key rule for sellers is when in doubt, disclose the issue. Many states require that the seller conduct an inspection of the home and disclose what was discovered. A seller’s failure to disclose certain information may be grounds for a lawsuit. Such information may include, but is not limited to: foundation problems, foreclosures, or even deaths in the property. A seller should conduct his or her due diligence and then make disclosures where appropriate.

Dividing Property During a Divorce

Divorce often involves significant division of assets. It is not unusual to file for divorce immediately prior to or after a holiday and then have the divorce finalized half a year later. While a divorce may be not end if it filed during a holiday period, the process can be started.  Property that is owned separately by one party will generally be retained by them at the end of the divorce process. On the other hand, property that was acquired jointly by the couple during their marriage will normally be considered shared property and will usually be split 50-50 between the two parties.

Probate of Real Estate

Death is a fact of life even during the holidays. Estate planning is necessary to ensure that your property is passed down to your heirs. Estate plans should be updated from time to time to prevent any unintended disappointments. Marriages, divorces, births, or deaths will impact most estate plans and those wills and trusts should be updated accordingly. If a friend or family member isn’t named in a will or trust, he or she may not receive anything. Conversely, if a gift no longer exists, then that gift cannot be given. For example, if a will gives a house to a child but the house was sold several years ago, the child cannot receive the named house.

Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer? 

If you have a property issue, it is important to have an attorney’s help ensuring that all requirements are met and all documentation is clear and accurate. Having a lawyer help at the outset will prevent future unnecessary disputes. It is essential to have the assistance of a skilled lawyer with any real estate issues you may have especially if it involves a complex transaction.


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