Sharon Ravenscroft Estate Planning Blog
Does your Deed Realy Avoid Probate?
I find that many couples who think their deed to their home will avoid probate, find out too late that it does not. Even if the other owner is your spouse, you still need the deed to say it is owned "with right of survivorship." Otherwise, if one of you dies, the other will have to go to court and have it probated. In addition, title companies requires that the owners each sign an "acceptance" saying that they agree to set aside their heirs' rights so the house can go to the other joint tenant or owner. Without the acceptance language on the deed, a title company will likely require probate before the house can be sold with title insurance. If your house is titled in the name of your trust, problems still can occur if the legal description was not complete or the names of the trustees and initial beneficiaries are not listed. When you seek an estate plan, you will also need your deeds checked to make sure probate is avoided, if that is your goal.