A Good Deed is in the Details Written by: Taylor Tallarico, Deed Preparation Coordinator
The average person will spend roughly one-third of their lives working. A 40-hour-per-week career from college graduation to retirement equates to 90,000 hours invested in a person’s occupation. I think about the examples my parents and grandparents have set for me, including the example of working hard to earn the things you want and need.
Oftentimes, those 90,000 hours earn a family the ability to purchase real estate. What begins as a house quickly transitions to a home. For many, our homes hold some of our most precious memories. Home is the place where all the birthday dinners were held, where Santa came to visit and where our loved ones laughed over board games. For so many, leaving a home as a part of a legacy isn’t just about the monetary value, it’s about the memories, too.
Estate planning allows families to protect their legacy. A common element of a thorough estate plan is a Trust. Different trusts offer different benefits, but generally the most common Trusts can help families avoid probate and/or protect their assets from the costs of long-term care. To earn these benefits from Trusts, assets need to be retitled in the name of the Trust. Retitling real estate involves re-deeding it.
Deed work demands accuracy. Even the smallest errors can impact the chain of title. For example, each property is assigned a unique parcel number that is given by the county to decipher between each land lot. If the parcel number is entered onto the deed incorrectly, the result is conveying the incorrect parcel. Related to a family’s estate plan, this could result in the wrong property being retitled into the Trust. Accuracy in the legal description of a property is also imperative.
A way to verify accuracy is to compare the tax map parcel number on the deed to the county records and tax bill. Additionally, the legal description (also sometimes referred to as the metes and bounds description) can be plotted to confirm it matches the county map in shape and size. This comparison can put a family’s mind at ease to know that the transfer has been correctly made. Exactness in deed work will prevent related issues from presenting themselves later in life upon the sale of property, failing health, or death.
Most families create estate plans to protect the people they care about, and to shelter their intangible legacy of memories, laughter, and love. An experienced estate planning and elder law firm can provide the accuracy of protecting the house, while you pass down the home.