Transfer on Death Deeds and Joint Tenancy

Transfer on death deeds (TODDs), sometimes also called ladybird deeds, enhanced life estate deeds, or beneficiary deeds, can be useful components of a comprehensive estate plan. Still relatively new, they are gaining acceptance across the US; as of 2013, they are valid in more than twenty states. These instruments, when lawfully executed and recorded, allow owners of real estate to pass the property to named beneficiaries after the owner’s death, and without the need for probate.

Continue reading “Transfer on Death Deeds and Joint Tenancy”

New Mexico Updates Transfer on Death Deeds in 2014

Recently, the state legislature revisited the original transfer on death deed statute and decided it was due for an update. So, on January 1, 2014, New Mexico joined with eleven other states to adopt the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (URPTODA), found at §§ 45-6-401 through 45-6-417 NMSA 1978 (2014). This revision of the law enhances and adds clarity to the state’s previous transfer on death statute.

Continue reading “New Mexico Updates Transfer on Death Deeds in 2014”

Charitable Donations of Real Estate

A charitable bequest involves giving part or all of a deceased person’s assets to one or more designated charities, by using specific instructions in a will. Technically, bequests relate to personal property and devises relate to real property, but “bequest” is often used as an umbrella term for both. Many people donate money and other valuables to charity over the course of their lives. Others consider charitable contributions, but never find the right time to give. Regardless of a person’s lifetime philanthropic history, the decision to include donations of land, buildings, and/or easements as part of an overall estate plan offers a viable way to leave a legacy.

Continue reading “Charitable Donations of Real Estate”

Quit Claim Deed – An Unrecorded Quit Claim Deed Can Still Be Valid

An unrecorded quit claim deed is still valid. While there is no time limit on recording a deed or recording required for a quit claim deed to be valid, record all deeds as soon after the transaction as possible. Failure to record a deed could render transfer or mortgaging of the property impossible and create numerous legal difficulties.

Continue reading “Quit Claim Deed – An Unrecorded Quit Claim Deed Can Still Be Valid”

Zombie Titles and Foreclosures in Real Estate

The housing bust and foreclosure crisis in America has left many homeowners facing some serious financial and housing issues, but it has also introduced another scary situation for homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages: Zombie Titles. It might sound playful, but it is a serious situation that brings about hefty legal and financial consequences for delinquent homeowners. Further, vacant property is subject to vandalism and degradation, which can affect an entire neighborhood.

Continue reading “Zombie Titles and Foreclosures in Real Estate”

Correcting a Recorded Real Estate Deed in Alabama with a Correction Deed

In order to correct a prior deed on record, use a correction deed, which must be notarized and recorded at the same county agency as the earlier deed. The Alabama correction deed makes specific reference, by execution and recording date, as well as instrument ID or book/page number, to the earlier deed and rerecords it in its entirety. It states the type of error made and adds the corrected information in the respective section of the instrument. All parties who signed the prior deed must sign the correction deed in the presence of a notary.

Continue reading “Correcting a Recorded Real Estate Deed in Alabama with a Correction Deed”

Property Transfers using a Beneficiary Deed in Arizona

The Arizona Beneficiary Deed, governed by Arizona Revised Statutes 33-405, is a useful estate planning tool. It gives owners/grantors of Arizona real estate the ability to initiate, but not complete, the transfer process to a designated beneficiary while retaining absolute control in the property. This means the owner (grantor) may sell, rent, mortgage or otherwise use the property with no penalty for waste or obligation to the named beneficiary. In addition, because the conveyance is not completed until the owner’s death, he/she may change or remove beneficiary designations at will. Because of the potential for change, there is no obligation for the beneficiary/grantee to provide consideration (money or something else of value). A.R.S. 33-405(L) contains the form and requirements for revoking a beneficiary deed.

Continue reading “Property Transfers using a Beneficiary Deed in Arizona”