The thought of organizing assets for loved ones after your death can feel daunting, especially when the Texas probate process seems so complex. Avoiding probate is possible, though, with the right tools, circumstances, and expertise on your side. One way to bypass probate with regards to real estate is the special deed, which allows for property to transfer from the descendent to the beneficiary more efficiently than it would through probate. On today’s blog, we review the special deed and some of its characteristics to keep in mind when undergoing the estate planning process.
What is a Special Deed?
A special deed is a legal document that transfers real estate from one person to another. When a property owner dies, if there is a valid special deed, that property does not need to go through probate at all.
Kinds of Special Deeds
Different kinds of special deeds serve different purposes. The life estate deed, for example, transfers property to a beneficiary while you are still alive. You get to continue living on the property even after signing a life estate deed, and you are still responsible for expenses related to the property. This kind of deed prohibits you from selling the property without the consent of all beneficiaries named on the deed.
A second kind of special deed is the transfer on death deed, which passes property to a beneficiary automatically when you die. You, the original property owner, must sign the deed yourself, meaning your beneficiaries cannot try and use this deed to acquire property after you are gone.
The Lady Bird Deed has advantages of both the life estate and transfer of death deed. This kind of deed transfers property upon your death, and it allows you to sell the property if you choose to do so during your lifetime. The person or people you name on the deed receive the property in question immediately upon your death.
Importantly, these kinds of special deeds have other nuances that can go unnoticed without the right amount of care and attention. At the same time, special deeds provide you with tools that might otherwise be inaccessible, opening up the door to additional estate planning options that can provide you and your family with a range of benefits. If you are wondering if a special deed might be right for you, contact a Texas estate planning attorney today.
Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?
At McCulloch & Miller, we take care of the complexities involved in Texas estate planning so you don’t have to. Our team brings a client-centered, personalized approach to each case, because we believe each individual deserves the representation possible. For a consultation with a member of our team, give us a call today at (713) 333-8900. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about your circumstances and have an attorney reach back out to you.