Siblings’ actions result in a voided sale, leaving matriarch and buyers in limbo  – The Mercury News

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Q: This is regarding your column — “When family members make a move on an elder’s resources” published online July 9, 2022, in The Mercury News and East Bay Times — about elder abuse:

We bought a family home from the adult siblings who tricked the matriarch. The eldest adult daughter living overseas is the rightful successor trustee. The three local adult siblings persuaded the elderly matriarch into making them successor co-trustees. Learning of this deception, the eldest adult daughter rushed back to Silicon Valley. A judge recently reinstated the eldest adult daughter as the successor trustee and voided our home sale. 

We asked for a meeting with the eldest adult daughter. Our condo is sold and closed. We have been living in interim housing. The matriarch’s home is vacant, clean and ready for move in. We heard the matriarch needs proceeds from her home sale to pay for skilled care. 

We want our kids in schools associated with the matriarch’s house. The eldest adult daughter understands we are faultless. We are writing a new purchase offer for the current successor trustee. Could we add a clause allowing us to move in before completing the home sale? Or is that ill-advised? 

A: According to the Department of Justice, financial elder abuse costs its victims about $2.9 billion annually, and 90% of the perpetrators are family members or trusted acquaintances. Read more at https://bit.ly/3eQPHyj.

The homebuyers, the eldest adult daughter and the real estate agents should cooperate. If so, arrange a video call for all participants. The current and rightful successor trustee needs to understand the situation. A quick reselling of the matriarch’s home might benefit all parties.

All share a unique situation. This commonality could help persuade the current successor trustee to allow homebuyers to live in her mother’s house before consummating a home sale.

Homebuyers moving in before the close of escrow is rare. Be sure to use the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Interim Occupancy Agreement — Buyer in Possession Prior to Close of Escrow form (C.A.R. Form I.O.A., Revised 12/21). It is 11 pages, including four pages of advisories. So only introduce this C.A.R. Form I.O.A. if the current successor trustee (eldest daughter) approves the concept. Do not surprise the eldest adult daughter or any seller’s agent with the C.A.R. Form I.O.A. Now is not the time for surprises. The reinstated successor trustee needs to be well informed and approve the next steps.

Questions, concerns or inquiries? Realtor Pat Kapowich is a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager and career-long consumer protection advocate. His hometown of Sunnyvale, California, is where he is based. Office Landline: 408-245-7700, [email protected] Broker# 00979413 www.SiliconValleyBroker.com

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