Many holders of real estate will seek to pass the property on to beneficiaries upon the owner’s death without going through the probate process. A common way to accomplish this purpose is for the owner to hold the title of the property in joint names with rights of survivorship being given to chosen beneficiaries. It is possible to do this by simply adding the names of the beneficiaries and a few specific legal terms to a new property deed. Once this is done, the deed is recorded in the appropriate public land records.
Many real estate holders believe that they can make these changes themselves instead of paying an attorney to prepare and record the new property deed. It can be risky to simply download a deed form from the internet to be filled and out recorded on your own. Since deeds are legal documents, they are only valid if they comply with the laws of your particular state. The majority of states require very specific legal terms to be used in order for the property to be passed on to the beneficiary.
Fortunately, any mistakes in a property deed can be corrected if they are discovered before the owner of the property passes away. The corrected deed will then need to be filed in the appropriate public land records. This correction should definitely be done only with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
If an invalid deed is not discovered until after the owner has died, the problem will almost certainly need to be fixed in probate court. Not only does this take time and money to address in probate court, the beneficiaries will not be able to sell the property during the probate process. In a worst-case scenario, the property could even end up being inherited by someone other than the one intended by the property owner.
The best way to avoid probate court and get your property to the beneficiaries that you desire is to get the advice and assistance of an attorney familiar with the real estate laws in the state where the property is located. You are taking unnecessary risks by trying to take care of the deed on your own with a form downloaded from the internet. By using an attorney, you can rest assured that the deed will be valid so that you can avoid probate court and make sure that your loved ones end up with the property as you intended.