Dower Rights, would you like to give up your claim to Dower Rights?
Dower Rights, would you like to give up your claim to Dower Rights?Some states like Michigan have Dower Rights others have Curtsy rights and some have both.
This week I had an agent make a unique request. The agent wanted a release form for Dower Rights. I said are you sure you want that form? Why would a woman give up her legal claim as in half (50%) ownership in anything?
The situation is based, in this case, on emotional issues. The home that is to be listed is was the ex-wife's along with her new husband. The current wife wants nothing to do with anything the ex-wife was remotely involved with or tied too in any way shape or form.
My agent did a very good job explaining Dower Rights but it fell on deaf ears....the spouse wants off the contract and to have nothing to do with the property. Now that creates two little problems. Easy for me to say, little problems.
- There isn't a form for releasing your Dower Rights....well there wasn't, there is now.
- The legal issues of releasing your Dower Rights has to be weighted and the form has to protect the company, agent and the spouse that is releasing her rights.
Here is some of the issues that may not seem important at the time when emotions are taking over. So it is up to the broker to make sure the form meets and exceeds the best interests of clients, agents and his/her company.
- If you release your legal interest in the property and something happens to the husband you have no legal standing to the property. You have released your rights.
- Making the form situational so it only covers this specific transaction and reverts back to the releasing spouse should something happen. (Which this spouse demanded be removed)
- Making sure the releasing spouse knows she can consult an attorney before signing and having an area on the form which the spouse can waive this right.
- Making sure the form is witnessed by someone other than the spouse for whom the release is made.
- Making sure the form is signed and notarized in front of a notary.
- Make sure to provide a space for the notary to imprint the notary seal.
Since this was an emotional request, I wanted to cover all the bases including offering to meet to explain the rest of the issues of this decision.
what do to and how to handle unusual issues comes with the task of running a brokerage. The other side of this is making sure you offer as many options to clients so they make an informed decision.
Have you had any unusual requests?