Do you know what will happen to your home if you were to pass away? If you have loved ones or specific intentions for your home, this needs to be documented in an estate plan.
There are many different estate planning tools available to you and a conversation with a Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer can help you to identify which documents you may need to help accomplish your individual intentions. Virginia law allows people to transfer ownership rights to real property in Virginia to beneficiaries without having to go through probate.
This is usually done using a document drafted by an estate planning lawyer known as a Virginia transfer-on-death deed. A transfer-on-death deed in Virginia can only be used for real estate property. No personal property like jewelry or cars can be transferred via a transfer-on-death deed. When you pass away, this can be a very cost effective and simple way to give real property to someone else, such as a spouse who may not be named on the mortgage. This can avoid costly court procedures and hoops for that spouse to jump through during an already difficult time.
Much like a beneficiary designation for your retirement account or life insurance account, a transfer-on-death deed allows someone else to automatically inherit the property when the current owner passes away and avoids the process of probate. There are other options available to you in Virginia to help you avoid probate proceedings, such as having the property owned by a living trust, owned in tenancy by the entirety or joint tenancy.
Make sure to discuss whether this is the right fit for you as a joint or individual property owner for whom a trust or other type of probate avoidance may not be the best choice. Contact our Virginia Beach estate office now for further help.