Worried About Keeping Your Property in the Family After You Die?

Deed Attorneys in Baltimore, Maryland Can Give You All the Options

The main goal of estate planning is to eliminate as many assets as possible from going through the court system when you pass away. When creating an estate plan, individuals who own real property should review how their property is titled and should always consult with an experienced Maryland estate planning attorney to draft or review a deed to ensure that they are conveying what they intend.



Types of Interest in Property – An Overview

There are three types of interest in property in Maryland:

  • Joint tenancy with right of survivorship – When two or more co-owners simultaneously have an interest in a property, as well as a separate, undivided individual interest. In Maryland, each joint tenant must acquire equal interest in the property at the same time by the same instrument (deed or will). Each joint tenant holds a shared right of possession to the property, title to a portion of it, and the right to survivorship, which means that when one joint tenant dies, their interest in the property is automatically transferred proportionally to the surviving joint tenants.

  • Tenancy by the Entirety – A form of joint tenancy recognized under common law for married couples. In Maryland, couples who are married when signing the deed to a property are presumed to take title as tenants by the entirety. If an absolute divorce is granted, the tenancy by the entirety is severed, and their co-ownership is converted into a tenancy in common with no right to survivorship.

  • Tenancy in Common – This differs from joint tenancy in that each co-owner has a divisible interest in the property with no right of survivorship. When a tenancy in common is formed, the property interests are divided equally between the tenants, unless specified otherwise. In Maryland, any property granted to two or more unmarried individuals is a tenancy in common, unless the instrument contains a clear intention to form a joint tenancy.

All Maryland property owners need to understand the implications of co-ownership of property. It is important that you have an experienced lawyer review your deed and discuss how your property interest might be impacted in the event of litigation.

Our Lawyers Educate Clients About Property Interest in Maryland

Our attorneys will educate you on the various types of deeds, how they affect you now, and what might happen in the future. Here are some facts about deeds in Maryland:

  • The state does not recognize transfer on death deeds that allow for property to transfer to a named recipient upon a property owner’s death.

  • If you want to transfer your property into a trust to avoid probate, you must create and file a new deed showing the transfer of ownership.

  • If you want your children to inherit your property, they can be added to your deed during your lifetime.

  • When you add a child to your deed, your child will inherit your basis in the property (the amount you originally paid for it). If your child sells the property, they will be required to pay capital gains tax on the difference between the basis and the sale price. It is always in your best interest to speak to an attorney before adding your children to your deed.

  • If a deed says one thing and a will something else, the deed will generally trump the will, as the will governs only property titled solely in the name of the decedent.

More Questions? Contact a Baltimore Law Firm Experienced with Deeds

Do you need advice regarding how to legally transfer property in Maryland? Contact Atkinson Law online or call 410-882-9595 (Baltimore office) or 443-384-0013 (Bel Air Office) to speak with one of our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys today.