Brainerd Office
218-825-8400
Little Falls Office
320-639-0004

law offices serving both

the Brainerd Lakes
& Little Falls Area

Real Estate Law

Securing the Roof Over Your Head

Even with the real estate crash of 2008, property has always been seen as a very sound investment. Over the long term, real estate is viewed as one of the lowest risk ways for you to earn money back on your investment, whether that investment is an income property or your own home. As such, people go into real estate often with very different goals. Some are developers who want to earn income off of rent. Others are traditional homeowners, who are looking for a nice place to live that can double as an investment. At Mallie Law Office, we’ve found that most of our real estate clients from Brainerd and Little Falls lie somewhere in the middle.

Real estate laws are designed to ensure that everyone gets a fair deal. There is, of course, potential for fraud in real estate. Anybody that has had to deal with substandard renovation contracting can tell you that. In other words, just because a house looks good, doesn’t mean that it’s sound. And real estate law, in many ways, is designed to promote transparency and openness so that everyone knows exactly what they are getting. For that reason among others, many clients come to Mallie Law Office with real estate needs, looking to protect themselves and the next buyer.

Owning Rental or Income Property

Many property owners use at least some of their property to generate revenue and income. But doing so requires a sound legal footing. When it comes to the disputes between tenants and landlords, strict contracts are needed. The attorneys at Mallie Law Office can help you structure and create those contracts. For more information on tenant and landlord law, check out that section of our website.

Purchasing a rental property must also be done in a strict legal manner to be sure you are in compliance with local laws and ordinances. Many cities, towns and municipalities have different codes for what types of structures (rental or residential, for example) can be operated in what areas. This is not uncommon, and having an attorney to help you make sure you’re doing things right is always a good idea.

Real estate attorneys can help you in a wide variety of ways, including the following:

  • Preparing documents for leasing and rental of property
  • Preparing documents that protect you from the risks of renting (including property damage)
  • Helping landlords navigate the required paperwork involved in legally renting
  • Protect the landlord from dubious claims or misconduct of tenants
  • Negotiate disputes between landlords and tenants

Owning a rental or income property can be both intimidating and time consuming, especially if you’ve never owned such property before. Having a real estate attorney to help guide you through the process can help save you significant time and money in the long run.

Selling Property

Any real estate transaction has two sides to it: buying and selling. The focus of our discussion so far has been on buying, but selling requires its own red tape, especially in the case of complex properties. In order to ensure that you are selling your property in a legally protected and ethical way, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney well versed in real estate law. This is especially true if the property you are selling has tenants or current residents (or even business clients).

Selling your real estate properly is just as important as buying (or managing) your real estate properly. It might seem as though selling your property is risk free, but that’s not true. Retaining the services of a real estate attorney can help you navigate the process of divesting from your property in a way that also protects your long term interests and ensures all necessary laws and ordinances are followed.

Mallie Law Office, with locations in both Little Falls and Brainerd, MN, can help you with the sales of a wide variety of property types, including:

  • Commercial property
  • Private property
  • Industrial property
  • Rental and Income property

Transfer on Death Deeds

Many homeowners are looking for a simpler, more streamlined way to ensure their property is transferred appropriately after their passing. A transfer-on-death deed, now legal in Minnesota, offers homeowners an excellent option for avoiding the probate process that can sometimes be associated with executing a will.

A transfer on death deed essentially adds another individual onto the deed—but that individual can only execute rights to that deed on the passing of the primary deed-holder. For our Brainerd and Little Falls clients, there are several benefits to using a transfer-on-death deed:

  • The property does not count as a “gift” for tax purposes (as it would with a living will, for example)
  • Creditors cannot pursue the beneficiary until the death of the property owner (as they would were a name simply added to a deed in a traditional way)
  • In general, creating a transfer-on-death deed is simpler and less expensive than crafting a will or living will
  • The deed holder can change the status of the beneficiary any time before death
  • Transfer-on-death deed can avoid probate

While drafting transfer-on-death deeds can be simpler than creating a will or living will, property owners can still fall victim to making legal mistakes. Having an experienced real estate attorney can help ensure that your wishes are legally sound and secure. This is especially important when creating a transfer-on-death deed.

To talk to a highly qualified real estate attorney about a transfer-on-death deed, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Re-Title Property

The title of a property is the document that provides you, as the owner, with the legal rights to that property. In other words, the title defines who owns a given piece of real estate. Changing the title—or re-titling a property—can be complex, but there are a number of reasons why doing this might be to your advantage.

In certain cases, you may wish to re-title the property from your name to the name of a trust you have set up. Doing this can (as with a transfer-on-death deed) avoid the probate process and ensure that your wishes are followed in the execution of your trust.

The advantages of re-titling your property to that of a trust are:

  • As mentioned above, beneficiaries can avoid the probate process
  • You can place conditions on how the property is to be used
  • You can change a trust more easily than you can amend a will, meaning you will have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to your property

How Can Re-Titling Help You?

In very broad terms, re-titling a property is essentially changing who owns that property. In order to ensure the legality of that change, re-titling must be performed by a highly qualified legal expert. The attorneys at Mallie Law Office will be able to help you determine the best possible way to proceed.

For example, your individual status and circumstances will determine whether re-titling your property might be the best way to proceed or whether you would be better served by a transfer-on-death deed.

For assistance with re-titling your property or to talk about the best way for you to protect your wishes and your property in the future, contact Mallie Law Office to start a conversation about the best way to proceed. We have offices in both Brainerd and Little Falls that can help you navigate the often complex processes involved in ensuring the legacy of your property or real estate.

For All Real Estate Concerns

Legal problems associated with property can be difficult to predict. There are certainly steps that you can take to protect yourself and your property—including having a valid contract and up to date insurance. The more work you do to protect yourself, the more you may be able to prevent certain negative events down the road.

However, there will always be surprising issues that come up, from natural disasters to acts of vandalism to contract disputes. In those cases, having legal assistance can help you ensure that you’re in compliance with the law and doing everything you can and should do in a given situation. Having an attorney that is familiar with the local area can help ensure you’re in compliance with local ordinances as well as state and federal laws.

If you have pressing real estate concerns, contact the attorneys at Mallie Law Office to help you ensure that your real estate enterprise—be it personal or commercial—is on a solid foundation.