My question involves real estate located in the State of: Florida
My grandmother, for estate planning purposes, quit claimed her home that she built to her four children reserving a life estate to herself. Here is the actual wording of the deed:
KNOW ALL MEN HERE BY THESE PRESENTS, THAT (MY GRANDMOTHER), AN UNMARRIED WOMAN, GRANTOR, FOR LOVE AND AFFECTION AND OTHER GOOD AND VALUABLE CONSIDERATION, THE RECEIPT AND SUFFICIENCY OF WHICH SHE SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGES, DOES HEREBY GIVE, GRANT, TRANSFER, CONVEY, REMISE, RELEASE AND QUITCLAIM UNTO HER CHILDREN XXXX XXXX, XXXX XXXX, XXXX XXXX, XXXX XXXX, GRANTEES, AS JOINT TENANTS WITH RIGHTS OF SURVIVORSHIP, (HOME STREET ADDRESS), SUBJECT TO A LIFE ESTATE IN AND TO THE GRANTOR, WHICH GRANTOR SPECIFICALLY RESERVES UNTO HERSELF, AND TO SAID GRANTEES' HEIRS, EXECUTORS, ADMINISTRATORS AND ASSIGNS, FOREVER, ALL OF HER RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST IN AND TO THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBED REAL PROPERTY, LYING, SITUATED, AND BEING IN THE COUNTY OF XXXXXXXXX, STATE OF FLORIDA, TO-WIT:
THIS PROPERTY IS, AND REMAINS, THE HOMESTEAD OF THE GRANTOR, AND THE GRANTOR SPECIFICALLY RESERVES UNTO HERSELF A LIFE ESTATE IN AND TO THE ABOVE DEMISED PREMISES AND REAL PROPERTY FOR HE REST OF HER NATURAL LIFE.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS DEED IS TO CONVEY THE REMAINDER INTEREST IN THE ABOVE DESCRIBED PREMISES AND REAL PROPERTY TO THE GRANTOR'S CHILDREN.
TOGETHER WITH ALL AND SINGULAR TENEMENTS, HEREDITIMENTS AND APPURTENANCES THEREFORE BELONGING OR IN ANYWISE APPERTAINING THERETO.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MY HAND AND SEAL ON THIS SECOND DAY OF DECEMBER, AD, 1993.
Three of the four children have died and the remaining child (age 65) wants to put her in a nursing home and move into the house. My grandmother has appointed me as Power of Attorney with a durable clause. I take care of all the bills, maintenance. My cousin that shes staying wih is the medical power of attorney. Before my gandmother left for Detroit, the locks in the entire house were rekeyed specifically to keep the last child on the deed out.....they had some kind of falling out and she was adimate about her wishes. Its been a couple months know and today when I went over to mow the lawn, I put my key in the lock and it wouldnt work. I discovered that all the locks had been rekeyed again. Turns out that the surviving (child) took the deed to the locksmith and then the locksmith followed them to the house and rekeyed the locks. I called my grandmother and she was furious. She told me to change the locks again. I called the same locksmith I used the first time, and when he asked for the address he said, "We just left there 10 minutes ago!" After talking to the manager, he wouldnt come back out unless the sherriff was present. I showed the younge officer the P.O.A. and he reluctantly gave the OK to the locksmith, only after I got my grandmother on the phone, and after the deputy talked with her. The P.O.A paperwork is pretty cut and dry. I just didnt have a copy of the deed to show to the officer. I am a licensed real estate agent, but I am not using it right now because of the current market. Now I'm no lawyer, but the wording in the deed sounds cut and dry. Does a remainderman have the right to just come in and change the locks? My grandmother is totally pissed and wants to file charges with law enforcement. I dont want it to come to that since the (child) is my aunt, I dont want to have to go through this again, not to mention the stress it puts on my 92 year old grandma. Thanks in advance!