Transfer on Death Deeds

Transfer on Death Deeds

Virginia has a wonderful legal mechanism by which any property owner (or owners if joint tenants) may convey a piece of property to another individual outside of probate via a Transfer on Death Deed. This instrument can work in conjunction with your current will, trust, or other estate plan or it can be a separate transfer altogether.

Section 64.2-628 of the Virginia Code outlines the requirements. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title64.2/chapter6/section64.2-628/
Here are a few of the main requirements:
• at least one beneficiary must be named
• transfer must occur on Grantor’s death
• the deed must be recorded prior to the Grantor’s death
• the deed shall be exempt from recordation taxes unless it was a bargained for exchange with consideration

This deed creates two primary benefits for the beneficiary: First, it is an instantaneous transfer upon the death of the Grantor since the deed is already on record at the local clerk’s office. No probate is required to facilitate the transfer. Second, the tax basis starts at that time of death. In many instances, a Grantor may wish to transfer a piece of property to the Beneficiary prior to death which starts the basis at that time. It generally is more favorable to the beneficiary to receive the property at a later time as opposed to sooner. For specific tax advice for your situation, please discuss with a tax professional.

If you or someone you know needs further assistance with real estate, wills, trusts or estate law in Virginia, please click the “Schedule a Consult” link above and a receptionist will assist in connecting you with an attorney. Hanger Law serves the following cities and counties in the greater Hampton Roads and Richmond areas: Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown, Seaford, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County, Isle of Wight County, Smithfield, New Kent County, Toano, Gloucester, Hayes, Richmond, Henrico County, Mechanicsville, Ashland, Hanover, Midlothian, and Chesterfield County.

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