This is a true story of a rather haunted sale...The property was owned by a 79-year-old husband and his wife who was 71 years of age. Title was held in Joint Tenancy. The Husband was deceased. The escrow officer reviewed the supplementary affidavit and death certificate needed for this type of transaction involving joint tenancy survivorship. Everything was in order to close.
Additionally, the son had power of attorney to sign on behalf of his mother.
The escrow officer questioned the son as to the reason of the POA and was told his mother was competent and alive but was unable to come to closing.
The escrow officer left the closing room to check on funding and the son followed her, making a request for the seller's proceeds to be wired to his personal account. The escrow officer explained it was not possible but would gladly wire the funds to his mother's account. The son explained it was also not possible because the mother's accounts were closed to avoid "claims.”
The escrow officer continued to question the son and learned that his mother was in jail. The son then requested a cashier's check in his mother's name.
The son left the room and the escrow officer re–examined the death certificate of the deceased husband. The certificate stated that the cause of death was due to a stab wound to the chest. The escrow officer summoned the son and his real estate broker to her office to further investigate. Upon questioning, the son admitted that his mother was in jail for the murder of his father.
Note: Washington State has a statute known as the Slayer Statue (RCW 11.84.050), which provides that the deceased/victim’s half interest passes to her/his estate and the other half passes to the victim’s estate upon the death of the slayer. I.e. the killer only has a half interest life estate.
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