When you pass away, it’s common to want to pass your possessions and property on to your loved ones. To ensure that your wishes are honored, and the government is legally satisfied in the distribution of your property, familiarize yourself with the will and estate planning process and how it pertains to real estate. Use this helpful guide to get started.
How Wills & Estates Impact Property Ownership
If you have sole ownership of a piece of real estate, you are the one and only owner of that property. The deed is in your name and isn’t immediately transferred to another individual upon your passing. In addition to homes, buildings, and other forms of real estate, sole ownership can also apply to financial assets such as bank or investment accounts.
If you have sole ownership of a property in North Carolina, you can list a beneficiary in your will—the individual who will receive the real estate when you pass. For the will to be approved in court, you’ll need to have it signed in the presence of witnesses. If the will isn’t valid, or the beneficiary is under 18, the state will choose who receives your property.
If you and one or more other individuals own a piece of real estate together, you would possess joint ownership. This means that you all own an equal piece of the asset (so three people would each own 33.3% of the property). In some cases, you may have established joint ownership with “rights of survivorship.” This means that if one of the owners dies, their share is transferred to the survivors (so the two remaining owners would each own 50% of the property). If the remaining owners decide they want to sell the property, they must both agree. The last surviving owner can do what they wish with the real estate.
To ensure your wishes about your property are honored, turn to The Law Office of J. Baron Groshon. With locations in Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, and Lake Norman (Cornelius), this attorney has nearly 30 years of experience in wills and estates and is happy to work with you to secure your future. In addition to estate planning, he also works on bankruptcy and guardianship cases. To learn more about his practice areas, visit the website or call (704) 342-2876 to schedule a free consultation.