Transfer on Death Deeds
In a lot of situations where a Probate proceeding or Administration is necessary, the major asset of the decedent is their home, or other parcels of real estate. The reason that a Probate or other type of court proceeding is necessary is because when the decedent died, their house and other real estate was in their sole or own name. A Probate proceeding or Administration through the Courts can become complicated, time consuming and financially costly.
These situations may be avoided by gifting a remainder interest in the real estate to one’s heirs or children, while keeping a Life Estate. An outright gift to the heirs or children can also be made, but this can create a need for a Gift Tax Return and can cause possible Cost Basis problems for the people receiving the gift when they sell the property. Another possibility is to prepare a Quit Claim Deed creating a Joint Tenancy with a Right of Survivorship. These are all possible tools for avoiding Probate, but the owner of the property making the gift could lose their complete control over their home or real property, which in many situations may not be what they desire.
There is another tool that can avoid Probate or Administration, and that is a Transfer on Death Deed. A single parent or individual, or a husband and wife can designate their children or other heirs as direct beneficiaries of their home or parcels of real property, and if the parent or individual would still own that home or real property when they die, the home or parcels of real estate would pass to the children without having to go through Probate or an Administration. If the parent or individual wishes to sell their home and move to another residence, such as an apartment or assisted living, they may do so at any time after the Transfer on Death Deed is executed. This deed does not transfer any ownership to the designated beneficiaries when the Grantor is alive…it only transfers ownership to the named beneficiaries (or Grantees) upon death.
If avoiding Probate by using a Transfer on Death Deed sounds like a great idea, (which it is), call me and I will explain all of the details about this Deed to you. I will also discuss other alternatives, such as Powers of Attorneys, Wills and other methods of simple estate planning and let you know what I would recommend for your situation. I always believe in keeping things as simple as possible. Remember, there is a Free Initial Consultation.