Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale Title Transfers Attorney

Ensure your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes

Estate planning and title transfers go hand-in-hand. However, failing to properly transfer bank accounts, investment accounts, and real estate titles to a beneficiary or into a trust can result in important and sentimental assets going through probate. The Florida court process could mean delays, additional expenses, and potential disputes over asset distribution.

In South Florida, estate planning and probate attorney Geoff Levy can help you strategically transfer asset titles for maximum benefit. At our boutique law firm in Fort Lauderdale, we can guide you through planning, implementation, and maintenance of an advanced title transfer plan. For information that applies specifically to the titles in your estate, contact us for a free consultation.

Florida title transfers after death

In Florida, the transfer of titles after someone dies is typically managed by the personal representative of the decedent's estate. That person is either designated by the decedent or appointed by the probate court. In estate planning, common title transfer issues involve:

  • Homestead Property. Florida has specific laws governing the transfer of homestead property, the deceased's primary residence. Issues may arise regarding the determination of homestead status, transfer of title to surviving spouses or heirs, and creditor claims against homestead property.
  • Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS). Assets held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship automatically transfer to the surviving joint tenant(s) outside of probate. However, disputes can arise regarding the validity of the joint tenancy, the intention of the parties, or challenges to survivorship rights.
  • Community Property. While Florida is not a community property state, married couples can create trusts to opt into community property treatment of assets. Moreover, issues may arise if the decedent owned property acquired during marriage in a community property state or if there are disputes over property rights between spouses or former spouses.
  • Undue Influence or Lack of Capacity Allegations. If there are concerns about the decedent's mental capacity or allegations of undue influence in transferring title to assets, disputes may arise regarding the validity of property transfers made during the decedent's lifetime.
  • Intestate Succession. When a person dies without a valid will (intestate), Florida's laws of intestate succession determine how assets are distributed. Title transfer issues may arise if there are disputes over the rightful heirs or if there are challenges to the intestate distribution scheme.

Avoiding title transfer issues

There is no way to guarantee a title transfer will go uncontested, but you can take proactive steps to ensure your wishes and directions can stand up to challenges. Estate planning strategies that may help avoid title issues include:

  • Transfer of Title to Trusts. Assets held in trusts avoid probate, but proper transfer of title to the trust is essential.
  • Beneficiary Designations. Assets with designated beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and payable-on-death (POD) accounts, transfer directly to the named beneficiaries outside of probate.

It’s important to periodically review and update your estate plan to reflect changes in your circumstances, family dynamics, or applicable laws. This includes revising wills, trusts, titles, and beneficiary designations as needed.

In South Florida, Geoff Levy is your lawyer for life

Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney at The Levy Firm PLLC in Fort Lauderdale can help you navigate estate planning and title transfer complexities. Our experienced legal team can help ensure the proper transfer of titles and estate assets. If you need to draft or update an estate plan involving title transfers and other legal mechanisms, contact us for a free consultation today.

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Free Consultation. Contact Us Today.

If protecting your legacy and the financial security of your loved ones is a concern of yours, it’s a concern of ours. Let’s talk. Our law firm provides legal services in English and Spanish. Free consultations for new clients.

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