How to Ensure a Legal Transfer of Property to Your Children After You Pass

Monday, January 14, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Making sure ownership of property is guaranteed to be transferred from parent to rightful heirs after death can be stressful, especially if death is around the corner or advancing age causes problems.

There are several legal avenues to explore to guarantee no other relatives will interfere and cause problems with the transition.

Here is a list of four lawful ways for a parent to pass on their property to their kids with the least amount of outside interference.

  1. The Lady Bird Deed

    This is the most unique way to make a property transfer from parent to child after death because it technically happens while the parent is still living. It is essentially something called a quit claim deed, and Legal Zoom gives a full legal explanation of a quit claim deed to better grasp the concept of the Lady Bird Deed. The property is given to the child, but the parent still gets to reside in the property and make all the decisions.

    When the parent dies, the child assumes 100 percent control of the property. Other stipulations can be added, and there are different rules depending on the states. It is crucial in this type of transfer and all legal estate transfers to seek out an attorney or a law firm skilled in estate planning in the state the property is located in.

  2. Transfer by Deed to Child and Parent as Joint Ownership

    This is another transfer usually done by quit-claim deed. It is a scenario where a parent goes from owning the property to owning it with their child. It is done by transferring ownership from the parent to the parent and child as a unit. In the end, the child becomes the sole owner when the parent passes away.

  3. Transfer of Deed to the Child via Trust After Death

    Here is another case where the property gets transferred by the parent while they are still alive. Unlike the previous examples, the transfer of property is made to something called a revocable living trust, which is just a legal document. The trustee of the trust ensures the wishes of the document are carried out, and the property is transferred to the child by the trustee from the trust, and it happens after the parent dies.

  4. Transfer of Deed to the Child via a Will After Death

    A will is kind of like a trust. The parent will direct their property to be transferred to their child. Like a trust, someone is still needed to carry out the parent’s final directives, so this is where it differs from a trust. A will has to go into probate court. Then, the court gives the will a Personal Representative (PR). Finally, the PR distributes the property according to the directives.

These four legal options each have their pros and cons. They will all ensure the transfer of property from parent to child though, and should still offer sufficient protection if an unintended party attempts to interfere with the final wishes of the deceased. Just remember, these documents will be much safer if they are prepared by a qualified attorney.

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