April 12, 2023
How Property Lawyers Can Help You Transfer Your Property to A Family Member

How Property Lawyers Can Help You Transfer Your Property to A Family Member

There are several ways in which property lawyers can transfer property from one owner to another. That is called conveyancing and is a legal means of property transfer.

Both the desires of the seller and purchaser are considered with a drafted and recorded deed or another manner. When the type of property law document or way to transfer the ownership has been determined, a property lawyer will discover the best action for signing, how new titles are held, what interests may be conveyed in the property and many other concerns. While most of these transactions occur without the client readily available, some meetings must be held when papers are signed and if you, as a buyer and seller, must meet.

See also: Corporate Law

Deed Documents

One manner that a property lawyer can transfer the ownership of your real estate is through a deed. This document identifies the buyer and seller, details a legal description of what is being transferred, is signed by the lawyer and individual transferring the property and may have additional information.

In this case, a property lawyer will notarize the seller’s signature. Within a deed, there are two forms it may take. The most commonly known deed is a warranty deed. That transfers ownership and provides that the person selling has the property’s deed in good standing. That often comes with a guarantee against fraud or an immediate negative impact after purchase.

The second type of deed is a quitclaim deed. These documents transfer ownership of interest the selling party has in the property. However, no guarantees are provided about the interests or if the title is in good standing. As opposed to the warranty deed that promises the seller owns the property and gives the title to the buyer, quitclaim details that the interest on the property is being sold. There might or might not be a title. If it is owned, it may not be in good. Property lawyers use these documents when transferring ownership, most often used when there is a problem with the title, spouses are splitting or divorced, and in transactions between loved ones.

Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common Documents

Property lawyers introduce forms of the title when at least two individuals purchase a property together, no matter the purpose. That means that the property lawyer involved in the dealing must ask how the title will be taken with common questions to determine if they shall own the property jointly as tenants or as tenants in common. 

While the document does not affect the rights or duties the co-owners are obligated to while running the business or establishment; there are differences that matter when one of them dies. Joint tenancy means the right of survivorship in these legal matters. Suppose one of these persons were to pass away; the ownership of their estate then, by default, transfers to the surviving tenant of the property. That transpires over a will if there is one in place. That would be the case even if the deceased attempted to allocate the title to someone other than the surviving co-owner.

Co-ownership is usually accomplished between married couples. That is often the case, so a will is unnecessary, and time and money may be saved. Some states have a tenancy by the entirety in place that is similar to this title of ownership but may only be implemented when the two are husband and wife. The occupancy is expected when the ownership is shared with two or more individuals, and there is no right of survivorship. That causes the property to pass to the deceased’s heirs or follow their will in the unfortunate event.

Deed Recording and Property Lawyers

Before everything is finalized, the deed must be recorded. That could also include any mortgages, county or state stipulations where the property exists and similar matters. The owner’s interests are not entirely protected until the document has been recorded in the local registry or recorder’s office. That also affects any claims against the property that may arise from complications. Many of these documents are sensitive and must be completed in a particular manner. I

t is vital that a real estate lawyer is contacted to ensure all documentation and files are processed correctly. That may prevent or reduce potential difficulties at a later date. A property lawyer may also provide the appropriate areas to be contacted if any other transactions or activities must be performed.

How Long Would it Take to Transfer the Ownership of a Real Estate Property?

The transfer of property ownership process takes between three and six weeks.  However, it depends on the speed at which your property lawyer works. Much will also depend on the efforts of the property lawyer, the mortgage providers and other third parties to complete their duties within a reasonable time.

Is it Good to Gift Property to Family Members?

Some states’ law stipulates that Inheritance Tax must be paid upon receiving property worth over a specific value when bequeathed in a will. This value is essential for transferring property from parent to child or grandparent to grandchild.

The property transfer may not be worth it if its value falls below the stipulated threshold. Suppose the property proprietor transfers its ownership more than seven years before death. In that case, Inheritance Tax (IHT) will not usually be payable on this asset.

For example, upon the property transfer after a father or mother’s death or seven years before the person dies, IHT is payable if the property has a higher value than the accepted threshold. That could have been avoided if the asset was transferred before the start of the seven-year “window”.

We’ve also encountered scenarios where children bought their parents’ house and rented it back for free.  Here, there are Capital Gains Stamp Duty Land Tax and other practical considerations to take on board.

Final Thoughts 

You don’t necessarily need legal assistance when arranging property transfer as a gift, as you can find all required Land Registry forms on the internet. The service of a property lawyer can be precious, particularly regarding the wording of any transfer agreement. Although it may seem expensive, a good property lawyer can help you avoid falling foul of specific tax legislation.

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