What’s The Easiest Way To Transfer Property To Family Members?
This is a question that we get a lot. While there are many ways to transfer property both before, in anticipation of, and after, death, when it comes to wanting to quickly and easily transfer property to a family member while you’re alive, it significantly limits the options, as many of these methods are costly, complicated, and time-consuming. Many people believe that they don’t need any kind of legal action to transfer ownership of an asset to a family member, however, legally codifying the transfer is important, and a Florida estate attorney can be very helpful in this process.
What is a Quitclaim Deed?
A quitclaim deed is likely the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way to transfer your ownership interest in a property or asset to a family member. Unlike other kinds of deeds, such as general and special warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds make no warranties or promises about what is being transferred. Rather, a quitclaim deed will simply convey your interest in the property, whatever your interest actually is. This means that if you own a house and you execute a quitclaim deed to transfer your ownership interest in the house to your son, your entire interest in the house will transfer to your son. Likewise, if you believe that you own the house but you actually do not, and you execute a quitclaim deed transferring ownership of the house to your son, no ownership interest will transfer because you had no actual ownership interest to transfer. Unlike other types of deeds which make warranties as to your actual ownership and interest in the property you are transferring, a quitclaim deed simply transfers whatever interest you have or do not have. That means that you are not legally liable if you transfer a non-existent or incomplete ownership interest. Rather, you just transferred a worthless piece of paper. For this reason, quitclaim deeds are far more risky for the person on the receiving end. It is rarely advisable to purchase property from a stranger (or from most people) using a quitclaim deed as you cannot be sure that you are getting what you are paying for. However, these drawbacks do not tend to apply when the transfer is occurring between trusted family members. For this reason, if you are confident in your interest in the property you intend to transfer, quitclaim deeds are an excellent, convenient, and efficient way to transfer property between family members. Additionally, after the title has been established through a quitclaim deed, a general or special warranty deed can be used to clarify any remaining covenant issues if necessary.
Talk to a Florida Estate Attorney
If you need to transfer property or are interested in developing an estate plan that meets your needs and protects your interests, the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray are here to help. West Palm Beach estate planning attorneys Larry E. Bray has over 35 years of experience ensuring that your assets are protected and your wishes are honored. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.