Trusts are valuable legal tools to avoid probate and ensure a smooth administering and distribution of assets upon the trust maker’s death or incapacity. When someone transfers the title of an asset to a trust, this person is transferring their ownership to the trust’s name.
Although transferring property to a trust is not necessarily difficult, it requires attention to detail throughout all the steps involved in the process. Keep reading to find out how to transfer property to a trust in Florida.
Transfer Property to Trust Florida – In Detail
The process of transferring ownership of a property to a trust requires the owner of the property to prepare and sign a new deed. Although you are not required to seek professional guidance to fill out the necessary forms, the best way to prepare a deed is to work with an expert legal counselor.
Preparing the New Deed
In Florida, state residents usually use two main types of deeds when transferring ownership of property – warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. Generally, warranty deeds are most commonly used as they guarantee the property has no liens or judgments against it.
As quitclaim deeds do not offer the same level of protection as warranty deeds, they are used mostly among family members or close friends.
When filling out the deed form, the person transferring ownership of the property to trust must include the property’s current owner(s) name(s), the new owner(s) name(s), and a proper legal description of the property.
The owner of the property must use exactly the same form of his/her name (e.g., Samuel W. Lewis) as is used on the trust agreement and on the deed that originally transferred the property to him/her.
When filling out the name(s) of the trustee(s), it is crucial to use the same name as outlined in the trust document. After reviewing the name(s) involved in the agreement, one must include the date on which the trust document was signed in front of a notary.
The legal description of the property to be included in the deed is the same as it appears on the original deed.
If the property is co-owned with someone and one of the co-owners wants to transfer his/her share only, the legal description must state that the deed is transferring only that specific share to the trust. Once the document is ready, one must sign and date the deed in front of a Florida notary and two witnesses.
Recording the Deed
Once the deed is properly signed, the document must be recorded, that is, to record a copy of the notarized deed in the local county office where the property is located. A fairly simple procedure, recording a deed requires you to submit the original copy to the land records office and pay a small fee.
There, a clerk will copy the document and put the new copy in the public records. Then, the clerk will return the original back stamped with a reference number identifying where the copy can be obtained.