Imagine you’ve just closed on the house of your dreams when you learn that the sale is being contested by a long lost relative of the previous owner. It sounds like the plot of an Agatha Christie novel: The Case of the Missing Heir. But if a missing heir shows up to stake a claim to a property you’re purchasing, the mystery can turn into a horror story very quickly. Fortunately, with title insurance, that scary story can have a happy ending.
At Liberty Title in Minnesota, we protect our home buyers from missing heir crises. Here’s how:
Property Transfer and the Deceased
It’s not uncommon for an elderly person to pass away and leave no will or directions for their property or estate. In such a case, the law dictates that said property will pass automatically to the next living heir. In many cases, however, this heir is not easy to reach. For example, the child of the deceased may claim ownership not realizing there is another child from a previous marriage who should be entitled to a percentage of the property.
Often in these scenarios, the absent child will learn of the death later on, at which time they may step forward to challenge the property’s sale. This can cause all sorts of problems for the new buyer or buyers.
Tied Up in Court
When a missing heir comes forward, the claim almost invariably ends up in court. Sadly, the new homeowner ends up tangled up in a legal mess that can be quite costly. This can also happen when a will is contested by another relative that feels they are entitled to partial ownership of a property. In such a court case, the expense and time involved can become significant.
How Owner Title Insurance Protects Homeowners
Fortunately, buyer’s title insurance is meant to protect homeowners from missing heirs, contested wills, and many other scenarios that can threaten their ownership. Buyer insurance works to cover legal fees and court costs for homeowners caught up in covered legal ownership claims or in some cases, to pay up to the insured amount as compensation to the insured.
It will also cover the following:
● Undisclosed heirs
● Undisclosed spouses
● Misinterpretation of a will
Minnesota Buyer Title Insurance Protection
Buying a home should be an exciting time. But it’s also a hectic time, which is why the last thing you need is to end up with a headache on your hands from a contested title. Whether you’re buying a home to flip or live in, don’t take a chance. Call us to purchase your title insurance at 763.494.0340, or contact us to find out more about how we work to protect homeowners.