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When my in-laws had to move out of their expensive property tax state of NH to NC, my wife and I put in $25,000 and became part-owners of their house, and pay our percentage of all expenses (actually, much more). Now, they want to apply for a state program for exemption from part of their property taxes, and our ownership will make this more complicated.

My wife and I were thinking of getting off of their deed entirely. While we certainly do want our money back, we trust her family that when things are liquidated, that this will happen. And we know that many people will advise against this, but this is not our question. We are only looking for our principal back, nothing more. We will continue to pay our portion of all expenses, regardless.

My only real question is: what is the best way to get us off the deed? Is that a "quit claim"? Is that something that a lawyer must draw up, or can a title company do it?

Basically, I would love to hear from anyone who has done something similar.

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Just wanted to reply to all who commented. My wife called the tax office, and we were told that our being on the deed (at only 17% ownership) would *not* disqualify her parents from getting the tax break. So we are going to proceed and stay on the house deed, which does allow us to continue to make sure that their equity in their home is protected.

Thanks again to all who replied!

Bood
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just have to ask, what is point of reference for "boodagazelle"

for the transfer tax costs, courthouse should be able to let you know the exact amount when they do the initial look through - you could take cash but if it's more than you want to carry get it as a cashier's check. Cash / cashier's checks means they can stamp, file, process right then. If you dealing with FIL who is not exactly the type to be counted on, you want it done right then and not allow 3 weeks for check to clear and FIL just goes and does something in the interim.
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Thanks to all. My wife needs to confer with her siblings before anything can be done, but will try to post later.
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Personally I hate QCD and would never buy a property titled that way. But this isn’t about buying now is it? QCD is done all the time for family transfers. I’ve gotten property via a QCD from a divorce. They need to be properly prepared for property laws for NC. I would get a real estate attorney as your Dad sounds like the type that has a high probability of “Issues” . A title company may have legal within the company to do it. Deeds are detail specific in nature and 1 error could make it invalid.

Legal may want a title search done. The title company may in it’s own due diligence look to see if there are any clouds on the title existing. If so, you may need another private document between you and your free-spending dad as to responsibility on the clouds.

How title is currently held will make a difference as to just how the QCD has to read. So get your copy of the current paperwork to review. Like if it reads “Joint Tenants” or whatever. If you don’t have this, most courthouses have this stuff on-line available as a down-load for cheap. I’d pay for download of all the documents attached to the parcel so that everything is known.

Most places have it that Assessors office does a preliminary form before the QCD can be filed. Maybe a 2 page form with name of grantors & grantees, property details (parcel # & description and you better be fully current on taxes too); new ownership name and their physical address – they may need to provide ID too; some sort of tax information – this usually based on the last years tax assessor bill & if it’s not accurate than you better have a registered appraiser do this for you to get the tax exposure reduced. The tax info is needed as there is tax due on transfer. The old filed at the courthouse Deed on the property. Assessors office reviews and gives you a notary form (it may not be done that day either). You take this to the attorney or title company to do the new title and then they can file it for you or you walk it over. Best time at courthouse between 9 - 10:30 as court in session and the ladies who staff the offices still have a sense of humor - take an iD and dress nice but not expensively - most will guide you in how to do the forms.

There will be various fees for recording too (index fees, etc.) – personally I take cash when dealing with stuff like this @ the courthouse as most I deal with just hate checks (you have to wait 3 weeks for clearance on checks so that means 3 weeks to get things changed legally) and charge a % on CC. I would pay for duplicate copies too. Good luck and please post an update as to the results.
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I used to work for a title company. Any of them can do a quit claim for you.
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BoodaGazelle, that was a good idea being on the Deed to keep father-in-law from using the equity on the house.
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pamstegman - It is complicated. At this point, Medicaid is not part of the equation. We don't care that much about the money, but one reason we wanted to be on the deed was so that her father could not unilaterally take out loans, etc. against the property without us knowing (he has a history of making bad financial decisions, which is why we were involved in the first place). My wife is going to confer with her siblings about what the best course of action is.
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BoodaGazelle, I would recommend you ask this question to a tax accountant. I don't know if your in-laws can get a senior discount on their property taxes with other names on the tax records... even if you and your wife are seniors, the house isn't your primary residence.

The tax accountant can also discuss with you the capital gains tax ramifications of being on the Deed and when the time comes to inherit the house.... the value of the house as your basis could go back to the time when you all purchased that house, instead of the basis value of the date when you inherit the house.
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You can trust her family all you want, but you can't stop MERP from taking the whole thing if they want to. For this reason DON'T take your name off.
DO get what you are doing written down in an agreement so your interest in the property outlives them.
If you get off now, you make sure you get your money NOW. They may not want to do that. I say pay the taxes, don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
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