Real property is often the crown jewel of an individual’s estate. It may be the most valuable asset, representing the return on an investment. Or maybe it signifies great sentimental value in the case of a family home or farm. Such property can be disbursed through a Will, but better ways may exist, including the transfer-on-death deed. represents
Transferring Real Property.
Real property can be distributed to heirs in several ways. One method that must be considered is the transfer-on-death deed, also known as a beneficiary deed. A deed document is prepared and signed by the owner of the property, known as the grantor. The property will be described and at least one beneficiary named. For the deed to be considered valid, it must be recorded before the owner’s death. The grantor remains in control of the property until his or her death, at which time the property transfers to the beneficiary or beneficiaries named in the deed.
Pros for using a Transfer-on-Death Deed.
Property automatically transfers upon the death of the owner, usually without the need for probate. Since the beneficiary does not have an interest in the property during the lifetime of the owner, creditors cannot seize the property to pay a beneficiary’s debts. The owner can revoke the deed or change the beneficiary if necessary. Overall, transfer is typically faster and less expensive than some other methods.
Cons for using a Transfer-on-Death Deed.
An improperly written deed may omit provisions that protect from disability, divorce, or bankruptcy. If a beneficiary dies first, the owner may revoke the deed or prepare a new deed naming a new beneficiary. Disputes about selling the property can arise if more than one beneficiary is named. Sometimes a deed will be signed by more than one owner. The last surviving owner can revoke or alter the transfer-on-death deed, which means the original beneficiaries may not receive what the other owners intended.
Discuss Transfer-on-Death Deeds with an Attorney.
Like all legal issues, it’s best to talk to legal expert. The attorneys at the Dillon Group, PLC, have the skills to assess your needs and develop plans that are right for you. Please give us a call to set up an appointment or contact us online by using our convenient Contact Form. Located in Virginia Beach and Newport News, Virginia.