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Deeds - Real Estate Title Transfers


What is Probate?

1. Definition of a Deed
2. Common Transfer Types
3. Choosing a Vesting
4. Common Deed Types
5. What is Probate?
What is Probate?

Probate is a special court that supervises and determines how a deceased person's estate is to be distributed. Probate can become a lengthy and complex court procedure that typically requires an attorney. Since probate usually comes with expensive attorney fees and long waiting periods, it may be wise to avoid probating an estate.

Despite the common misconception, a will does not avoid probate. A will only serves as instructions to a probate court on how the assets of a deceased person are to be distributed. Probate is still required to supervise the distribution of the assets. Below is a chart that briefly outlines the advantages and disadvantages of the legal vestings that avoid probate.

JOINT TENANCY (Most Common) EVERYWHERE (1) Avoids the Probate System; (2) Low Cost; (3) Simple paperwork. (1) Property must be owned in equal shares; (2) Limited control; (3) No versatility.
 LIVING TRUST (Common) EVERYWHERE (1) Avoids the Probate System; (2) Full control of property until death; (3) Allows unequal shares to be distributed; (4) Can be cancelled anytime prior to death; (5) Complete versatility; (6) Avoids some estate taxes for large estates; (7) Documents are private. (1) Higher Cost; (2) More paperwork in order to fund and administer the trust estate properly. 
COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP (MARRIED COUPLES) (Common) California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Wisconsin (1) Avoids the Probate System; (2) Low Cost; (3) Simple paperwork; (4) Provides double stepped up tax basis once a spouse passes away. (1) Property must be owned in equal shares; (2) No versatility; (3) Property can only be transferred to the surviving spouse upon death.
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