Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

Quitclaim deed

My father owns a property (Lot) and he wants to add my name to the deed of the property. He wants to add the name as ''Father name OR Daughter name OR Son-in-law name'' so that if he (my father) passed away, the property would go directly to me (daughter). Can we fill out a Quitclaim deed to accomplish this and skipover any future probate proceedings?

Asked on 1/31/08, 2:58 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joseph Seagle Joseph E Seagle PA

Re: Quitclaim deed

This raises several issues. The first is the issue of documentary stamp taxes. If there is an oustanding mortgage on the property, then documentary stamp taxes must be paid on the proposed conveyance in Florida. These can be significant, and can lead to stiff penalties if not paid properly. Secondly, gifting of property in this way may trigger the need for a federal Gift Tax return as well. No tax may be due, but a return must be filed. Thirdly, if the property is homestead, such a transer will trigger a reassessment of the property under Save Our Homes, and the homestead protection from creditors will be at least partially lost. Fourth, if a judgment is entered against any owner, it will be lien on the property that could prevent it from being sold or refinanced in the future until the lien is paid off. Finally, the "or" between the names would not be legally sufficient to do what you are intending. Instead, I believe that you intend to create a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, or maybe even a life estate in your father. Either of these methods could avoid the need to include this property in a probate proceeding. However, if the deed is not prepared properly, your intent will not be realized. I suggest that you consult with an attorney who can prepare a deed that accomplishes your goals without triggering unwanted consequences.

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Answered on 1/31/08, 4:18 pm

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