IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU STILL A SCA MEMBER?

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IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU STILL A SCA MEMBER?

Home Forums Where I Stand IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU STILL A SCA MEMBER?

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  • #2770
    Rana Goodman
    Keymaster

    I first started this topic several years ago after resident Norman McCullough had been fined by the board of directors and charged for the SCA attorney for attending his OPEN hearing, something that NRED said the board could not do. When Norman requested a refund, attorney John Leach refused claiming that Norman was “not an owner of the property” since he was not named on the family trust. (it was in his wife Mary’s name). The topic is as pressing today and we are still looking for answers, (and Norman never got a refund)

    IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?
    Post by Rana Goodman »
    When Norman McCullough posted a letter from John Leach that had a statement regarding his lack of standing as a homeowner in SCA because his home was held by a family trust, it sparked many questions. Mel Verly sent me the following three questions and I promised to get the answers if I could since so many of us have our property in a family trust.

    1. When a home is owned by a Trust who is the owner – the occupants of the home or the Trust?

    2. In a home owned by a Trust could the Trust rent to occupants not related to the Trust or the trustees of the Trust?

    3. Assuming the Trust is considered to be the owner of the home, could the Trust be considered to have a Lease with the occupants, given a relationship such as Norman McCullough has with the Trust under question, under SCA Rules and Regulation? See section 4.4 on page 7 of the 2012.8.22 SCA Rules and Regulation?

    Mel suggested that our e-mail conversation be shared in the event any of you also are interested in this topic too.

    Mel:

    I met with my attorney today and he said that (as my trust is set up) if the trust owns the house, the trustee is the agent and thus acting on behalf of the trust. As such, the trustee can make any and all decisions of the trust. Both the husband and wife, assuming there are both, should be named. One can be the successor trustee. Ergo, both are acting for the trust and are as responsible as owners.

    He said that trustees of a trust, depending on how the trust is set up, most often have power to make all decisions on behalf of the trust and that would include renting, selling, buying property, etc.

    Norman, as Mary’s husband should for his own protection, should she pass before him be named as co-trustee. But he felt that Mr. Leach was “making a stretch” to put his words nicely by saying he had no rights as an owner.

    Rana

    “Mel Verly” wrote
    Thanks for the response. Did you ask or find anything out about my question number 3?

    I had my IPad, and thus your questions with me. He was using my trust as an example. He said it was hard to understand why Norman stepped aside and named his wife leaving himself out of the situation. In MY trust, it is the entity that owns my house. I am the agent that makes any and all decisions for the trust. I have full authority to sell property, lease, rent anything; ergo yes I can have contracts with anyone the trust owns property and has a lease with. My attorney has been here since the 50’s and suggested, in the most polite way, that attorney Leach stick to what he “thinks he is an expert in”.

    Rana

    “Mel Verly” wrote

    I do not have the knowledge of the law or the situation related to Norm to make a judgment related to that case. However, the way your trust appeared to be established may well address my question number 3.

    You indicated your trust is the entity that owns the home and you indicate you have complete power over the decisions of the trust. In your situation you, as agent for the trust, have made the decision to have the trust lease the house to you.

    In your situation, the leasing of your home, to you, by the trust you control, may not be supported by a formal lease agreement. Given the facts in your case, the trust is the agent and is leasing, formally or informally, the house to you. Given the facts of your situation, is your lease, subject to SCA Rules and Regulations Section 4.4? I am not aware of any exclusion in the SCA Rules and Regulations that would exclude your situation from being subject to SCA Rules & Regulations Section 4.4. if you would decide to have your trust lease your home to another party, I would assume a formal lease would be established and such lease would be subject to the SCA Rules and Regulations Section 4.4.

    I never found the need to make these things formal because my attorney never said I needed to. When my mother and I decided to build here, we did so, placed the property in the family trust. When my mother passed away I moved into her position as executor of the trust. As time moved on, my attorney then transferred my assets to my own family trust including this property. As executor/manager of the trust I “occupy the property” and have all rights to make any and all decisions regarding anything that belongs to the trust. I would then presume I am subject to the same rules that any SCA owner is subject to. I would never lease this property to anyone; I have told my girls many times, they will need to carry me out in a pine box. What my successor trustee does after that is up to her, but my bet is she will move in, she and her husband love the place and my son-in-law is already age-qualified.

    Following your theory everyone in SCA who’s home is held by a trust, which I would guess is 80 to 90 percent of us would have to file leases with RMI which is, in my humble opinion idiotic. Maybe lifestyles need to rethink that section of the rules and regulations again so that it makes more sense before every one starts running up their legal bills.

    Rana
    “Mel Verly” wrote:

    I understand and do not dispute your situation. My question is – Given the SCA Rules and Regulations in Section 4.4 is your situation subject to Section 4.4? I believe it would be hard to argue that you are not subject to SCA Rules & Regulations 4.4. Keep in mind under SCA Rules and Regulations Section 4.4 a lease must be filed with SCA. This is the reason I indicated in my first post, on this subject, this could opening a can of worms.

    I agree the filing of a lease, when the trustee of the trust is the occupant of the house, would accomplish very little, if anything, but keep people busy filing lease documents and attorneys busy completing lease documents. I also believe many of our residents would not understand or take the time to understand the need to file a lease if it would be considered mandatory under existing SCA Rules and Regulations. I think a change, clarification or exception of some kind, to the SCA Rules and Regulations may well be in order.

    Thanks for taking the time to help me try to get to the bottom of this possible issue.

    Mel

    bob frank
    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?
    Post by bobfrank
    Property records are open and plain. We can be sure the association knows who is under a trust and who is not. NRS116 and CC&Rs make no mention of this issue. Attorney John Leach has never mentioned this issue before.

    Is there any evidence the Board has acted to notice all other members operating under a trust agreement and fully paying all standard assessments that they are not eligible to use the community properties?

    But, if the board’s claim was true, would SCA property sales and changes in ownership where trusts were involved have to be modified and/or receive major changes to the CC&Rs?

    What other evidence would you need to see this is an issue to financially punish Norm McCullough over a false set of allegations?

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?
    Post by Rana Goodman » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:55 pm
    Bob I think you have missed the entire point of this post. The board has NOT raised ANY issue at all. The only tie this has to Norman is that John Leach made what, in my opinion was a stupid statement regarding his status because of a trust vs. ownership and it raised interesting questions, Mel Verly posed several that are part of our rules and regulations.

    The thing that I believe that needs to be done is to pose the topic to the Lifestyle Committee and have them review those rules regarding leases and make them more clear. But this issue is not something the board has raised at all at this juncture.
    Rana

    bobfrank
    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?
    Post by bobfrank »
    Rana, with all due respect, I believe my previous comments may have been somewhat confusing to some, but not incorrect.

    When Attorney John Leach sent his letter in response to the State’s investigator action into the McCullough complaint about being improperly violated, the attorney was legally representing and attempting to defend the SCA Board’s position.

    The letter was the legal position as directed by the SCA Board. And, I ask anyone who has any evidence to confirm Leach’s claim to please post the specific legal reference. I cannot find anything to validate his legal opinion.

    With this clarification, as a former HOA Board President in Las Vegas, can you not now agree?

    It would have also been a huge mistake by the board president (a member of the Bar in another state) if we find out that he failed to allow all directors to read, understand and vote on such a letter–BEFORE it was sent to the State authorities.

    This vital issue concerns fair and accurate interpretation of the statutes involving thousands of our SCA members under trust agreements–as well as hundreds of thousands of other HOA property owners in 3,000 HOAs in NV. This is a really big deal.

    Not yet cleared up is what the State will say about Leach’s claim on behalf of the SCA Board? The investigator seems to be still researching it and other aspects of Norman’s claim and the board’s responses.

    I believe that Norman intends to follow-up to the State investigator to ask for clarification of Leach’s seemingly invalid advice.

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?

    Post by Rana Goodman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:31 am
    Bob you are still missing the largest component of the topic…. Norman, for some reason known only to he and Mary, removed his name from the picture….. What he did with his trust might put a twist In there we need a trust lawyer to explain… My lawyer was not going there.

    This thread is dealing with the normal situations Iike most of us have. A basic reversible family trust set up in estate planning.
    Rana

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?

    Post by Rana Goodman
    Norman McCullough just emailed the following reply,
    Rana;

    Please post this under “If your Trust Owns Your Home”

    To clarify some wrong assumptions, my wife Mary and I are BOTH co-owners of our home here in SCA, even though we have formed a Trust. The trust is similar to a will in that it defines our wishes as to what happens to our home in the event of our death (or if one spouse passes first). I did NOT “remove my name from the picture”. That was pure assumption by the Board of Directors attorney, which was disproved after I had to return to my Trust attorney, and pay him to properly advise the Boards attorney.

    Many people (like myself) who have been widowed and re-married have enlisted a lawyer to form a Trust. The purpose of our trust is to pre-determine the disposition of assets after our life is over, and this includes the home we jointly own. We both realize that we can not predict who will die first, so certain details need to be addressed for the surviving spouse, and the families (and offspring) of both spouses must be specified in the Trust to assure our wishes are carried out.

    I am not going into the details, but I will say that your last statement is correct;

    “This thread is dealing with the normal situations Ike most of us have. A basic reversible family trust set up in estate planning.”

    Norman

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?

    Post by mverly
    Norman:

    You indicate your wife and you are the owners of your house. I assume your wife and you control the trust but I question the statement that your wife and you own the home from a legal point of view. Are you stating the house in not currently in the trust and will be transferred to the trust at either the death of your wife or you? Is it possible the legal entity that owns your home is the trust that your wife and you have established? If possible please ask the attorney who drafted the trust, before you respond. If the conclusion is your trust in the owner of your home, do you think Section 4.4 of SCA Rules and Regulations could apply?

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?

    Post by bobfrank
    What is RMI’s contribution to this association if it can not provide leadership with common sense and knowledge of basic American justice?
    Top

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?
    • I believe RMI is charged with keeping our board informed of Nevada Revised Statutes. John Leach is to take care of the justice system… Hold on, I’m getting up off the floor, I fell down laughing…. He did not explain WHY Norman didn’t qualify, but Bob, PLEASE, Norman responded to that.
    Rana
    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?
    I sent this post to the chair of the Lifestyle committee for comment, what follows is my message and the reply to that e-mail:

    Time, RANA0527@aol.com writes:

    can you respond Karen,????

    This question #3 is an issue that was raised by our esteemed legal counsel due to his vendetta against Norman McCullough . Now he has many, many people asking about it since so many of us have our property in trusts. Therefore, I believe that the Lifestyle committee either has to clarify the subject of leases being for non-related tenants, non-owners, something so that it is very clear, or clean up section 4.4 in some other way.

    Rana, Neither I nor the Lifestyle Committee have any legal background, nor would we be qualified to investigate this issue. I would suggest that the SCA Board charge our counsel with providing a clarifying decision. Perhaps at that time, the Rules & Regs. should be amended to reflect counsel’s determination.

    Personally, my guess is that this is a tempest in a teapot. But, maybe there is an issue with the need for both spouses being listed as trustees. I have no idea.

    Thanks for all you do,
    Karen

    Re: IF YOUR TRUST OWNS YOUR HOME, ARE YOU AN SCA MEMBER?

     One LAST comment – response to mverly.

    Norman McCullough

    Mel; I know you mean well, but I have to decline your suggestion that I ask my attorney. It cost me $50.00 all ready to have my Trust attorney respond to John Leach. I will say this – and only this.

    My wife and I both have followed all the rules of this association, and more just like any other member of this community. The only difference is that I have filed a number of complaints relating to the Villa finances and the way RMI spent our reserve money.

    John Leach was asked by the BOD to advise them, and for some reason known only to him, he may have suspected Mary and I were living together, without the benefit of a marriage contract, and that perhaps I was not a co-owner of our home. I suspect he was disappointed on both counts by the response from our Trust Attorney.

    Norman

    #2984
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Rana;

    My last words about this subject.

    Allow me to explain. About 19 years ago I lost my wife AND my only daughter. At the time I owned a home in Las Vegas. It was an older house but it was completely paid for.

    Someone who cared about me convinced me to go to Grief Counseling and I took their advice. It was there that I met a lady who befriended me and scolded me for ignoring grief counseling and my church. She was also widowed and she lived alone. The ladies name is Mary, and fifteen years ago we decided to get married in 2001.

    Mary had a new home here in Anthem, and she had made out a will to leave the home and contents to her family members. I did not want Mary to change her plans, so Mary and I both went to a Trust Lawyer and he drew up a Trust Document that would safeguard her last wishes for her family.

    In 2001 I sold my older home and put the money in a bank account to supplement our Social Security. Mary and I both signed a Trust Document that leaves the home in Sun City Anthem to her family members. I have no legal interest in the property now nor did I in 2001 when we married. The official recorded State records list Mary as the “Trustee”

    When we married I was never given a set of documents from Sun City Anthem that an owner receives when they buy the property. I never signed and agreement with the SCA Association, nor did they demand that I do so. All mail and magazines etc. come to our home addressed to the Goldman Family Trust (Goldman was Mary’s last name before she became Mrs McCullough). Recently when we received a check from the construction defect lawsuit, Mary was told by the SCA management that only her signature would be accepted.

    The Sun City Anthem Board members and their lawyers failed to notify the Trust when they threatened to put a lien on the property, and they also lied and said I was the owner when they forced me to pay money to the Association’s lawyer.

    Norman

     

     

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