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If you plan to gift your real estate to a family member or friend at your death, creating a deed now can be highly beneficial. At Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel, our qualified attorneys can create a deed that will fulfill your wishes for your real estate after your death.

Contact our Central Virginia estate planning attorneys to schedule your consultation.

What Is a Deed?

A deed is a legal document that transfers property ownership from one person to another.

Many people confuse the terms “deed” and “title.” However, a deed is a document transferring the title to the property to another person.

Deeds can play an important role in estate planning. You can use a deed to simplify the transfer of your real estate ownership to your beneficiary.

Types of Deeds in Estate Planning

There are a few different types of deeds that can be helpful within the estate planning process. Here are the most common deeds we help clients create within their estate plans:

Transfer-on-Death Deed

A transfer-on-death deed allows you to automatically transfer title of real property to a new owner when you die without that person needing to take any other action. This deed is the most straightforward option to transfer real estate in your estate plan. Because it is revocable, you can change your mind about it if you are alive and well enough to do it. However, it only became available in Virginia in 2013, and many people are unaware of its benefits.

Life Estate Deed

A life estate deed allows you to transfer property immediately while reserving an interest in it during your lifetime. However, your grantee will also have some rights over the property during your lifetime. This type of deed transfers title to your beneficiary immediately and cannot be undone without their cooperation.

Special Warranty Deed

A special warranty deed allows you to transfer real estate ownership to another person. This deed guarantees that there are no defects or problems with the property during your ownership of it. However, it does not protect against defects before your ownership.

How to Create a Deed

A deed is a legal document. It must follow a specific format and include special language to make it legally binding.

Every deed must contain at least the following information:

  • Name and address of the person transferring the property
  • Name and address of the recipient
  • A statement explaining that the grantor intends to transfer the property to the grantee
  • A legal description of the property, which you may take from the previous deed

In Virginia, a deed must be prepared either by the property owner or by an attorney licensed in Virginia. There are other technical requirements imposed on the recording of deeds in the land records of each county.

While you can technically draft a deed yourself, the best way to create a deed that includes the necessary format and is effective is to work with an attorney. Your attorney can create this document and ensure that it fulfills your wishes for your property.

Contact Our Qualified Estate Planning Attorneys in Central Virginia

If you’re considering adding deeds to your estate plan, we can help. Contact our team at Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel today at 434-589-2958 to schedule your consultation. If you live in or near Powhatan, call 804-598-1348.

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