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Your Guide on Transferring Property to a Family Member

A person's hand handing keys to another person's hand across a wood desk.

Real estate transactions can be complicated, especially when transferring property to family members. When dealing with property transfers, it’s essential to understand the risks, pros/cons, and processes to ensure a smooth, stress-free process.

In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about transferring property among family members and provide insights into following real estate laws while ensuring a smooth process.

What’s the Best Way To Transfer Property Between Family Members?

Depending on your goals and circumstances, there are many ways to transfer property between family members. Here are some options to consider:

Quitclaim Deed

quitclaim deed is a type of real estate deed that transfers ownership interest from one party to another without warranties or guarantees. It’s the easiest and quickest way to transfer real estate ownership to a family member. However, it comes with risks as it doesn’t provide any protection against claims or liens against the property.

TOD Deed

A Transfer-on-Death (TOD) deed is a document that allows you to transfer ownership of your property to a named beneficiary upon your death. This option allows for an easy transfer of ownership, but it requires property estate planning to ensure that your property goes to the intended beneficiary after your passing.

Gift Deed

A gift deed is a legal document that transfers property ownership from one party to another as a gift. It’s a popular option for transferring property to family members without involving money. However, there are tax implications associated with gift deeds, so you should consult a tax advisor before proceeding.

Can I Transfer Property to a Family Member Tax-Free?

Everyone gets an annual gift tax exclusion, which is the dollar amount value of gifts you can provide to each individual without worrying about taxes. In 2023, the annual gift tax exclusion was $16,000 per person. However, if you exceed this amount, you may be subject to the gift tax.

Transferring property to a family member via a gift deed is considered a gift of 50% of the property’s fair market value. If that value exceeds $16,000, your family member must file a gift tax return to report the transfer.

Family members can transfer property to one another without estate tax penalties by putting the property into a trust. When placed into an irrevocable trust, the property is no longer considered part of your estate after you die. Therefore, any named trust beneficiaries will not have to pay estate taxes on the transfer.

I am a Joint Tenant With a Family Member. Does This Mean There Are Two Owners?

Joint tenancy means two or more people have equal ownership rights to a property. In this case, both parties have the same percentage of property ownership. If one party dies, their share of the property automatically goes to the surviving joint tenant.

What Does It Mean if I Add a Family Member to My Deed?

Adding a family member to your deed means transferring ownership interest to them. This can be a gift, sale, or joint tenancy. It’s essential to consult with an attorney before adding someone to your deed to ensure that you understand the legal implications.

What Risks Are Associated With Selling/Transferring Property to a Family Member?

Selling or transferring property to a family member can come with risks, so weighing these carefully before proceeding is essential. Such risks include:

  • Failure to pay close attention to contracts
  • Family drama and attachments
  • Fraud
  • Non-arm’s-length transaction scrutiny
  • Tax implications

It is crucial to consult with an attorney, tax advisor, and financial planner to minimize these risks and ensure a smooth transfer of ownership.

Can Matheson Law Firm Help Me Transfer Property to My Family Member?

Absolutely. Transferring property to family members can be a complex process, and it’s essential to understand the risks, advantages, and processes involved before proceeding.

At Matheson Law Firm, our team has years of experience helping North Charlotte-area families transfer their properties via quitclaim deeds, TOD deeds, and gift deeds. We work carefully with each client to ensure their goals are met, and risks are minimized.

Contact our team to request a consultation today.