It is easy to steal real property, all you need is a deed and a notary. Occasionally, I get calls about an Elder who signs over title to a child or a “friend”. The stories are all very similar. The Elder has dementia and thinks that they need to change title to protect their property from the State or taxes (or some similar cost); the new owner is now evicting the elder or has added a mortgage.
A Trust can protect you if you have a co-trustee (always make sure your trustee is trustworthy), since two signatures are required.
The other way to protect yourself is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign a deed without talking to a lawyer. I don’t charge existing clients a fee when they call with a question so if you are a client, PLEASE CALL ME! If you are on this list and aren’t an existing client, take advantage of a FREE DISCOVERY CALL! My mission is to protect the elderly and disabled, so if you call me, I will explain to you why you shouldn’t sign the deed.
Please remember that a diagnosis of dementia will NOT protect you if you sign legal documents. There is a legal presumption that a person 18 years of age or older is competent to sign any deed, contract, a Will, a Power of Attorney, a Trust etc… A letter from a doctor is not sufficient to overcome this presumption. If your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia, it is important to protect them by making sure you have updated all their legal documents with a plan that specifically plans for what if I forget to die and have dementia and need help while I am alive.