Probably the hardest questions I have to answer as a real estate professional revolve around the passing of a loved one, or planning for such an event.
That’s why I thought I’d share some basic information here that I hope will help aid in this process.
It’s important to note that I am not an attorney, so this is not legal advice. But it is intended to help you through the process. Because every situation is different, I recommend that you call me so we can discuss your needs and I can point you in the right direction from there.
Your Real Estate Plan
There are a few components to your real estate plan that need to be addressed. You will want to name the succession of your estate, which includes not only all personal property, but also all real property. Factoring all these components as part of your plan is essential to ensuring what happens is what you want.
Tennessee is a Deed of Trust state. In your Deed, you not only list the type of occupancy you and any other named owner of the property share, but you can list intended successors. To convey property to a loved one, they must be named in a Deed.
A will must be on file with the county clerk’s office in the county where the property resides. This can outline the entire succession intended for property ownership, both real and personal property should be identified in your will.
Power of Attorney
Naming a POA in a will, or in a POA document registered with the state is imperative to avoiding Probate and the loss of property to the state. This is simply the process of identifying who will dictate the personal affairs of someone who has passed on.
(See “What is Probate?“) The Deed, the Will, and the power of Attorney are the three components necessary to avoid Probate Court. You may be able to get by with just one, or two of these assets, but if you want full protection of your property, you will want to ensure that all three are filed with the county and state.
Don’t hesitate on this matter. It can be daunting, and these may not be easy decisions to make. But whatever your needs may be, there are ways to specifically identify how property needs to convey after the passing of a loved one, and you want to full authority to outline those needs before it’s too late.