When you re-title assets into a living trust, you are transferring ownership of those assets to the name of the trust. A trusts is one form of legal directive that can provide protection for owners an for beneficiaries. In estate planning, living trusts allow the Trustmaker to use and access trust assets while they are alive and well, provide for their care in the event of disability and ultimately provide lifetime protection for beneficiaries, including pets. However, creating a trust and then transferring real property into the name of the trust can be confusing.
Preparing the deed
Before transferring any real property into the name of a trust, your attorney should prepare a new deed for your review and signature. To ensure this transfer is accomplished properly, consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. In Florida, you may use one of the following types of deeds:
- Warranty deed — Warranty deeds are most commonly used for real estate transactions because they warranty there are no liens against the property and that no other party has any claim to the property. Keep in mind that warranty deeds may require a title search and title insurance.
- Quitclaim deed — Quitclaim deeds do not offer any of the protections of a warranty deed. A quitclaim deed is a simple transfer of the ownership interest of the person signing the deed.Generally, they also do not require a title search or title insurance. As such, quitclaim needs are most often used by family members and trusting friends. Quitclaim deeds are also useful for clarifying ownership of property when multiple owners exist.
Every deed requires exact information including the legal names of the current owners, the legal names of the new owner, and a legal description of the property. Florida deeds must be witnessed by two people and notarized.The deed should then be recorded in the county office that maintains local property records.There may be recording fees, documentary stamp taxes or gift tax reporting requirements for some transfers.
Assuming the responsibilities for new property
Individuals who transfer real estate by deed must pay a fee known as the documentary stamp tax. In all counties except Miami-Dade, the rate is $0.70 per $100 of value received for the property. This fee must be paid to the county clerk’s office or wherever the deed was recorded. If you are transferring property to a living trust, only minimum documentary stamp taxes are due.However, it is always best to speak to an experienced estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact skilled Central Florida estate planning lawyers
The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan delivers top-tier legal guidance for wills, probate, estates, trusts, and elder law. For more information about transferring real property in Central Florida, call (407) 977-8080 today, or contact us online to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.