Do It Yourself Lawyering



This newsletter is short and sweet and to the point. I can’t make up this set of facts. A gentleman brought in a deed which he found on the internet and he drafted and recorded it with the register of deeds. It was a quit claim deed conveying his home back to himself, his wife and his children in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. He thought it was a great way to avoid probate but there was a problem.


The deed read as follows: John Doe to Jane Doe, Thomas Doe, Mary, Judy, William Doe, and Tiffany as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. Whoa! What a train wreck! First of all, title to the property was in the name of John L. Doe so there was an identification issue as to who the correct owner of the property was. He didn’t designate Jane as his spouse nor listed her middle initial. When I asked him who Mary, Judy and Tiffany were, he obviously replied that they were his children. I pointed out to him that their last names were not on the deed nor their marital status. Furthermore, he didn’t file a Kansas real estate sales validation questionnaire.


To clean up this disaster we drafted another quit claim deed for his spouse and children conveying the property back to John Doe a/k/a John L Doe. We had to include children’s spouses in this conveyance. We then turned around and had he and his spouse execute a transfer on death deed conveying the property to their children in equal shares correctly designating their marital status. We avoided having to file a questionnaire.


When you’re dealing with real estate you have to be careful to have correct names, legal descriptions, marital status and depending upon the type of deed know whether or not a Kansas real estate sales validation questionnaires are required. I will be candid. I made more cleaning this problem up than if he had come to me in the first place to properly draft the deed. If he had never corrected the problem, I would have made even more probating his estate.


Be careful,




“Memories of our lives, of our works and

of our deeds will continue to live in others”



                                             —Rosa Parks—

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