If you own real estate that you have inherited and you don’t have title insurance, consider it. People instinctively think that since it’s been in the family for years, there are no title issues. Unfortunately, properties owned for generations are by far the very properties that do have title issues. These properties have usually not been mortgaged, so the titles have not been vetted. Title insurance is an insured statement of the condition of your title or ownership rights to the property. It guarantees you own the property. Don’t get to the closing and find out you have title defects, which can cause major issues.
Major changes to the Probate Code that affect all Maine Real Estate – Starting September 1, 2019, Maine will allow a real estate deed, known as a Transfer on Death Deed, to designate beneficiaries, the same way you would on a bank or stock account. Florida residents are already familiar with this deed and call it a “Ladybird” deed. The advantage of the new deed is that the beneficiaries will have absolutely no rights to the real estate and the owner can change the deed at any time before you die, without notice to the beneficiary.
A Transfer on Death Deed will minimize the need for Trusts, especially out-of-state residents with Maine real estate who want to very simply by-pass Maine probate when they die. It will also potentially eliminate probate for Maine residents who have beneficiary designations for all their assets (life insurance, IRA, bank accounts) except the house. Call today to see if this new deed is right for you!
-Kathryn Bedell, Esq.