From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Avoiding Probate Through a Transfer-on-Death Deed
Most Recently Updated July 8, 2018.
“Can I avoid Probate in Philadelphia by using a Transfer-on-death deed for real estate?”
Avoiding Probate Through a Transfer-on-Death Deed
For some estates, spending a little money now to avoid probate at death can create substantial savings for the family. Typical techniques used to avoid probate include Revocable Living Trusts, Jointly Owned Accounts and Payable-on-Death designations on bank accounts and stock accounts.
One technique available in some states to avoid probate is a Transfer-on-Death Deed for real estate.
M.S. 507.071 is the Minnesota State statute that spells out how to draft a valid Transfer-on-Death deed for Minnesota property. This statute allows you to own a Minnesota plot of land with a deed that states at your death the ownership of the land immediately transfers into the name of another person or into a trust. Until death, the property remains in your name and under your control.
Pennsylvania has not yet adopted a Transfer-on-Death deed, so as of 2014/2015 for Philadelphia residents this is not an option.
What can be done in Pennsylvania?
Instead, to avoid probate in Philadelphia deeds can be placed in Joint Tenancy or into a Revocable Living Trust. The advantage of a Joint Tenancy is simplicity, but the negative is that during your lifetime you will have given the other person a part ownership in your property. A Revocable Living Trust avoids probate, is a bit more complex to implement but has the advantage of leaving control over the property in your hands during your lifetime.
More Planning Questions?
Avoiding probate is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: Avoiding Probate Through a Transfer-on-Death Deed
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how a living trust in PA can assist in avoiding probate. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
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