Are you worried about what will happen to your home after you pass away? You likely have a beneficiary in mind but might be concerned about the drawn-out probate process preventing the person from assuming ownership immediately. You can avoid this issue by creating a transfer-on-death deed that designates a beneficiary for your property. The person will not have legal rights to the property while you are alive but will receive it when you pass away without going through probate.
This is just one of your numerous options for distributing your property. Thus, consult with a transfer-on-death deed attorney from our firm to go over this and other strategies. Then, you can finalize your estate plan so you will not have to worry about what will happen to your property after you pass away.
Benefits of a Transfer-on-death Deed
Transfer-on-death deeds are still relatively new in Virginia, so you might not know the benefits. Some advantages include:
Retain Control of Your Property With a Transfer-on-death Deed
You will maintain full ownership and control of your property after creating a transfer-on-death deed. This means that the beneficiary will not have any ownership rights until you pass away. Because of that, your property will not be at risk if the beneficiary is facing a judgment due to unpaid debts.
Also, since you still own and control the real estate, you have the right to sell it or take out a loan using the equity. Keep in mind that if you owe on the property after you pass away, those debts will go to the beneficiary. Thus, you want to make wise decisions, but it is still nice to have options.
Adding Multiple Beneficiaries
You can use a transfer-on-death deed to leave real estate to one or multiple beneficiaries. If you leave your property to multiple people, each will receive an equal share. Because all parties are treated equally, they share decision-making responsibilities as well. For instance, if you leave the property to your five children and only three want to sell, they might have to go to court. Thus, it is helpful to discuss future plans with beneficiaries when leaving the real estate to more than one person.
If the beneficiaries do not get along or cannot agree on future plans, our transfer-on-death deed attorney can review other options for you. For instance, you might want to explore creating a trust to divide the property and assets. This is just one of your options, so contact our firm to discuss an estate planning strategy today.
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Privacy and Transfer-on-death Deeds
Many people explore estate planning options that allow them to avoid probate while maintaining privacy. While transfer-on-death deeds do not go through probate, they become part of the land records once filed. Thus, others can view the transfer if they wish. If you are concerned about maintaining your privacy, our firm can explore other options, such as a revocable or irrevocable trust.
Revoking a Transfer-on-death Deed
Because the deed will not go into effect until you pass away, you can revoke it while alive. Your Northern Virginia transfer-on-death deed attorney can go through the steps to revoke it and create a new deed if you wish. The process for revoking deeds is more complex than terminating wills and other estate planning documents, so be sure to seek legal counsel before moving forward.
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