Property Transfer Matters in Florida
Fort Myers Attorneys – (239) 970-6844
Usually, the most expensive piece of a decedent’s estate is real estate property, such as a home or plot of land. Unlike many other assets to be distributed as inheritances, real property will need to go through a preparation process and eventual property transfer.
At Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A., our probate lawyers in Fort Myers have more than five decades’ worth of legal and property transfer experience. Be sure to contact us today if you will need help managing a probate case of your own.
Managing Real Estate Before Transfer
Real estate property, with its high value and high interest from family members, in many cases must be carefully managed before it is transferred. There is little use for a piece of real estate in disrepair. The same can be said of homes or business property with liens against them.
There are three things to consider before transferring real property in probate:
- Mortgages or taxes: No one wants to inherit property debt. If a piece of real estate is to be transferred, other portions of the estate can be used to pay off any remaining mortgages or taxes against the property first.
- Maintenance: As the testator ages or becomes indisposed, any real estate property they own or control will need to be maintained. This duty must also be upheld after they pass away and the will goes through probate.
- Appraisal: It is invaluable to have a piece of property professionally appraised after it enters a decedent’s estate. Otherwise, it may be inherited well under or over its value.
- Deed: Finally, you or the probate administrator will need to find the deed to the property. This document will outline who owned the real estate and how it can actually be transferred.
How Property May be Transferred
Upon reviewing the deed, it should become apparent how the property can be transferred, either in or out of probate. If it is not clear, speak with our Fort Myers attorneys. We have dealt with complicated will contests regarding some of the most intricate wills around.
Some ways property can be transferred after a testator passes away include:
- Single owner: If the decedent was the only owner of the real estate property, it is relatively easy to transfer the property to whoever was named as an inheritor.
- Joint tenancy: Some deeds state that property is owned in joint tenancy, or by two people. When one owner passes away, the surviving owner will automatically have full ownership transferred to them.
- Spousal ownership: In some instances, probate can be avoided if the decedent has a surviving spouse that lives within the property. Tenants by the entirety rules can transfer sole ownership to the spouse without further probate processes.
If none of these options work for your property transfer case, the real estate may need to go through probate with everything else in the decedent’s estate. While this might not be the most convenient method, it is not an impassable obstacle.
We remove complexities from your case.
At a glance, the probate process and relevant laws can be intimidating for people not well-versed in the legalities. At Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A., our Fort Myers attorneys understand that you have enough on your mind without needing to sort out a property transfer.
Start with a free case evaluation today to learn more about what we can do to make your life easier and your probate a breeze.
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