Retitling real estate into your trust is an important step, particularly to avoid ancillary probate if you own real estate in more than one state.
Requesting a New Deed
In order to transfer the title to real estate into your trust, you'll need to follow these steps:
- Contact a Local Attorney - Contact an attorney in the county and state where the property is located and request that a new deed be prepared. The new deed will be from your individual name into your name as trustee of your trust.
- Sign All Necessary Documents - There may also be other documents required to be prepared, such as local, county or state tax forms or a certificate or memorandum of trust. The attorney should prepare all of the proper forms that will be required to retitle your property.
- Obtain Approval from Your Association - If the property is a condominium or subject to the rules of a homeowner's association, then you may need to obtain permission from the association before the new deed into your trust can be recorded. The attorney should assist you with securing the proper approval.
- Obtain Approval from Your Lender - If the property isn't your primary or secondary residence and is subject to a mortgage, then you'll most likely need to obtain permission from your lender before the new deed into your trust can be recorded. Again, your attorney should assist you with securing the proper approval.
- Record the New Deed - Once the new deed and related documents have been prepared and signed and the appropriate approvals have been obtained, the new deed should be recorded among the land records of the county where the property is located. The attorney should take care of this and then return the original, recorded deed back to you.
Recording Fees and Costs
With regard to recording fees and costs, these vary significantly from state to state. Some states specifically exempt transfers of real estate into Revocable Living Trusts from recordation and transfer taxes, while others will charge a nominal tax. Other states will consider the transfer a sale and assess full taxes. It's important to take these local, county, and state fees and costs into consideration so that you won't be surprised by the final recording fees and costs.