When it comes to the title of properties owned by spouses, there is a big chance that one of them is not on the papers. Acquired properties by a spouse before their current marriage usually creates problems, especially when that spouse passes away. In Florida, it will require a probate process to transfer the legal title into their surviving spouses’ names(Deeds and Trust). 

Inheriting the property without the deceased spouse’s name on the deed can be stressful. Often, the surviving spouses are left in the dark and must seek counsel through attorneys who are experts and knowledgeable in these areas. Couples should legal consultation early and discuss their options on how to manage the problem before it occurs.

In our long experience giving advice to couples, we always explain different routes and legal steps on how a spouse can inherit the separate property without their names on the deed. Here are the few steps that you should take.  

Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy is a legal arrangement between married and unmarried couples to own a property with equal obligation and rights. This allows both individuals in the agreement to use the property and occupy it by including “right of survivorship” in the joint tenancy. If one of the spouses passes, the other will inherit and get the spouse’s sole ownership, preventing a probate process’s hassles and headache.  

Enhanced Life Estate Deed to Remainderman

Life Estate is defined as a form of joint ownership allowing a person to stay in the property for the duration of a person’s life and automatically pass the right to another when they pass away. Sometimes this is called life tenant or tenant for life. Giving the title’s ownership to another upon ending the previous owner’s life estate is called remainderman designated in the deed. 

Once the deed is recorded in Florida, the legal right of transfer title to a life tenant, the remainderman, becomes practical and valid. Although the property’s control rests on the life tenant, consent from the remainderman is not required. The enhanced life estate deed in Florida provides transfer of ownership to the remainderman without the probate process’s necessity, including the homestead’s protection. 

Estate Plan, Deeds and Trust Transfer 

Transferring property to a trust is another legal option that a surviving spouse could take upon the other’s death. The transfer will effectively prevent a probate process and allow the surviving spouse to inherit the estate and claim sole ownership. In estate planning, there are different types of trusts that can be made to manage your assets while alive and give them to the list of beneficiaries after one passes away.  

Although there are various options when working with a trust, a well-crafted estate plan will ensure that the assets and properties are smoothly transferred to listed beneficiaries. Using a well-crafted estate plan, couples will be spared the headaches of the costly probate process. Unavoidable family conflict and higher tax burdens can add more to the problem. 

Trust Explained 

Trust is managed by an organization or a person and represents another. A legal relationship allows a trustor, to entrust someone to handle and manage their account to another party, a trustee, to represent a third party, the beneficiary. 

Picking a trust needs to be carefully studied and discussed. Estate ownership varies from the homestead, mortgages, rights of the surviving spouse, and encumbrance, making it a complex process.  

We Know Estate Planning 

We are incredibly familiar with Estate Planning here in Florida. The complex process of protecting your assets is complicated. We have legal experts ready to give you a hand. The law firm of Jurado & Farshchian, P.L., can help you with your needs. Call us at (305) 921-0976 or send us an email at [email protected] to start a consultation.