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Shell- you may be right. If the mother used a Lady Bird deed to quit claim her interest to the OP at the time of her death, then the mother still has title to the house. That may explain why the OP doesn't know if the mother still owns it. OP needs to find out exactly what document was used and check with a RE lawyer. OP hasn't come back to provide more info.

If the mother had used a Quit Claim Deed to transfer the house outright to the OP, then the OP should be paying property taxes for the last 20 years. But with so little info provided, we just don't know.
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Reply to polarbear
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Polar is spot on about the issues surrounding Quit Claim deeds (QCDs). Anybody can do one based on what they “think” they own. They can file the QCD at the courthouse too. Filing stuff at the CH doesn’t means it’s legal or valid, it just means it’s been recorded. (& CH made $)

QCDs have absolutely no guarantee of ownership. There’s risk.
Only Warranty Deeds (WD) guarantee. To sell a property that has ownership via a QCD runs risk for ownership being valid. Ime there are some QCDs that are Ok, like you get a property via QcD in a divorce decree & the QCD is part of judges orders with details on required settlement of the debt. I had this in my 1st divorce.

To get a mortgage nowadays, the lender isn’t going to do lending on a QCD..... they are going to want the transaction guaranteed & sold via a WD. The QCD is going to need to have the title cleaned & cleared some way. Just what kinda depends on how messy of a QCD it was and how long ago and how property laws run for your area.

GladImHere, where I’m at, cloudy title- like QCD or tax sale deed - workarounds can get done via a Quiet Title Action. Quiet is specialized real estate legal, not really complicated but time consuming. Not a DIY, I’ve used an atty who primarily does site selection work for commercial development with Quiet as a sideline for him, it’s actually kinda similar “discovery” process. It’s a series of attempts to call out to those who might can show legal interest in the property, & atty does a deep dive into CH & state records. Like notices filed in the paper similar to those for Notice for Creditors for probate. Takes about 6-8 months for a Quiet. But once it’s done, any title clouds are gone. The time can be a problem & can kill a deal as most homebuyers aren’t gonna wanna wait & neither are the banks loaning the $. But for buyers who can wait they can press to get a better deal.
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Reply to igloo572
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Igloo is correct. My parents did the "Ladybird" deed deal on their FL property in 2012. Not sure why their attorney didn't recommend an irrevocable trust as I am the only child and only heir, so it seems probate would not be a concern in my particular case. All this is new and confusing to me as mom's health and cognition decline and
I am having to learn a lot very quickly in order to secure appropriate care for her. But my understanding is that mom retains ownership which passes to me upon her death. I'm not positive this type of document protects her home from the 5 year Medicaid lookback, which the irrevocable trust would have accomplished.
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igloo572 Oct 18, 2020
ChiAnnie, he imho did it exactly to get it so that the many benefits your mom has as owner stay in effect and as a legit workaround to Medicaid lookback & MERP. The irrevocable trust is way way stickier to deal with imo.

Lady Bird keeps it in moms name, so if property taxes have over 65 exemptions and she has other exemptions (blind, disabled), her prop taxes will be oodles lower. Could be a big, big, HUGE SAVINGS. If there’s other things tied in her ownership, they too stay in effect. If she’s still in the house, she just continues to deal with the property costs just as she & your dad did before the Lady Bird. How her insurance is written stays the same.... if she’s in FL wind pool, having it in a Trust may kick it out of state supported windstorm. She’d have to go private market for coverage, and it will be scary huge premium. NFIP (flood) too has exacting restrictions on how ownership reads to allow property owner to have the federal policy. You should check to see that mom while she’s still in the house has all the peril coverage she needs.... it’s really easy for elders who live in a fully paid for home to be underinsured as there’s no mortgage co requirements to have insurance. So pls chk her policies. We went thru Katrina and over & over it was the story that parents were way underinsured &/ or had no NFIP flood coverage.
For Medicaid, doing Lady Bird isn’t a change in assets, as nothing legally happens till after she dies. & even then it passes outside of probate. You do want to make sure the atty will file whatever needed when this eventuality happens. It’s like a term policy that has a face value of $1,000 but actually is paid up with dividends reinvested in the policy, so that after death it pays way way more than 1k. Only the face value counts for Medicaid, as the extra value isn’t paid till after death. Comprende?

The glitch on that Lady Bird house will be IF your mom goes onto LTC Medicaid in a facility. Medicaid will require her to do a copay of basically almost all her monthly income to the NH as a copy. Long story short, all house costs will need to be paid by you. So property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, etc fall to you or don’t get paid. So be mindful of your wallet and budget accordingly. Property taxes imho must be a priority to be paid. If house is to be empty and your far away, you may want to speak with a plumber & electrician on setting up a system on mimimizing use. Also if she goes on LTC Medicaid, your mom or you as her DPOA will need to do an annual “right to return” document in her annual renewal for LTC Medicaid too.
Please realize Since our elders don’t come with an expiration date, all this could be 3 months or 3 years. There have been a couple on this site who have had Lady Birds in TX and it seems to have taken about 6-10 months post death to actually get all paperwork run thru to get title transfer.
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A Quit Deed or also know as a Lady Bird Deed is used so the house does not have to go through probate court. Quit Deeds can be written in many forms; however, they are commonly written for the purpose of "still having ownership to the house in question, but upon the death of the original owner the person(s) name on the Quit Deed takes ownership."

So yes, your mother still owns the house; however, I would read the Quit Deed or have a lawyer read it! Just to be sure!
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Reply to Shell38314
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igloo572 Oct 18, 2020
A Quit Claim is NOT a “Lady Bird” Deed.
It’s not the same in anyway.

“Lady Bird” is a euphemism for an Enhanced Benefit Deed, done during the owners lifetime & to which the owner continues to have property in their name even with a Lady Bird being done. Benefit Deeds are an after death document which transfers ownership & it bypasses probate. They are only done in a few states. Usually the more property rights states, like TX & FL. I think there’s 6 states total that allow for Enhanced Benefit Deeds aka Lady Bird.

Again, Quit Claim IS NOT Lady Bird Deed.
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Was the quit claim deed filed and the title transferred to you 20+ years ago?

Have you been receiving property tax bills in your name and have they been paid?
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Reply to Frebrowser
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It's an inexpensive way to transfer property, and, while an owner of a property acquired by quitclaim deed can't sell it without a clear title, the property can be sold later after a warranty deed is obtained. ... You can then buy title insurance and, with legal title, transfer the property through a warranty deed.
Selling Property Acquired by Quitclaim Deed – Real Estate Articles
readytogonewsletters.com > 2014/04 > se...

Always Google. Is there also a warranty deed? Was mortgage holder also a party to the quit claim? See an attorney. Or call and check with a title company. Was the quit claim properly notarized and recorded with the county clerk?

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/when-to-use-a-quitclaim-deed
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Reply to gladimhere
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No, I don't believe she still owns it. Look at the deed to the house. Is your name the only one on it? Collect all of the paperwork and consult with a lawyer in your area. Any lawyer would be able to answer your question.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Once your mother signed a quit claim deed transferring the house to you, she no longer owned it.

It's important to know that a quit claim deed does NOT guarantee the title of the house. Anyone can quit claim any property whether they own it or not. Quit claim means just that, the person quits/relinquishes any interest s/he may have or not have in a property.
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JoAnn29 Oct 17, 2020
How can you quit claim something u don't own?
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