Posted by Estate Planning Attorney Michael Burnett
In Georgia, an estate is subject to taxation and collection by creditors for debts owed by the deceased. If an estate includes real property, the executor of the estate has the fiduciary duty to ensure that debts and other priority claims have been paid before transferring any real property to beneficiaries in your will. Even if you have a large sum of debt, successful estate planning will aid to conserve and control the distribution of your assets at the time of your death according to your goals.
* TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY THROUGH PROBATE
If you leave real property to your beneficiary within your will then the transfer of property may be made after the probate of your will by the executor of your estate and after your estate debts have been satisfied. The executor will be charged with the duty to cause an “Executor’s Deed” or “Assent to Devise” to be drafted, executed and filed with the real estate records office where the real estate is located. The “Executor’s Deed” or “Assent to Devise” formally transfer title from the deceased to the intended beneficiary. It is important to remember that if the transfer documents are not properly drafted, executed or filed then the error will cause a defect in the title and can be costly to correct.
* TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY OUTSIDE PROBATE
With successful estate planning, it is possible to transfer real property to your loved ones and avoid the probate process. One option is to hold title to real property with your loved ones as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. The transfer of title will pass along seamlessly to your loved one at the time of your death. A second option is to place the title of real property in a living trust. In most cases, the successor trustee (the person you elect to handle the distribution of property in the trust when you die) will be able to transfer the real property in a matter of weeks as opposed to months if probate had been necessary. Both options allow for the transfer of real property without the formality or rules of probate.
The above is for general information only. For your estate planning consultation, contact Estate Planning Attorney, at 678-905-4450 Ext. 3. www.msb-law.com/ MICHAEL S. BURNETT, LLC