Property Ownership Transfer: Legal Requirements

Jan 26, 2023 | Title Group of Tennessee

Property ownership is much more than just buying a home – it comes with various potential risks and legal obligations. To ensure the rights and interests of all property owners are truly protected, it’s essential to understand and comply with applicable laws. Property ownership transfer requires specific legal requirements, and documents must be adhered to. Though it’s a complicated process, a thorough understanding of these documents and laws can ensure a successful property ownership experience in Tennessee.

Keep reading the article to learn about these legal requirements!

Legal Requirements Relevant To Transfer Property Ownership in Tennessee

1. Transfer of Ownership (Living Owner)

In Tennessee, transfer of ownership generally takes place using general warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, and quit claim deeds. Each county has laws related to the deeds and requirements; click on each link below to learn more.

Warranty Deed

A warranty deed is the most common way to transfer title to real property in Tennessee. A recorded warranty deed conveys a complete interest in the real property with full warranties of title to the new grantee.

Special Warranty Deed

A special warranty deed can be used to transfer the title to real property in Tennessee. When recorded, it conveys an interest in real property to the named grantee with limited warranties of title.

Quitclaim Deed

The grantor must sign the quitclaim deed and have their signature acknowledged in Tennessee, including a legal description of the property and recital of title. Moreover, one must follow specific requirements for presenting the quitclaim deed to a register of deeds in Tennessee to avoid penalty fees or re-recording.

2. Transfer of Ownership, If Someone Dies

Tennessee has two estate deed forms in case of the owner’s death.

· Tennessee Life Estate Deed Form

A Tennessee Life Estate Deed is a legal document that grants a life tenant a lifetime interest in real estate. The transfer of title to the remainder man occurs upon the tenant’s death. The life tenant and the remainder man need to understand the legal and financial obligations associated with the life estate before signing the deed, as this deed helps avoid probate, set up future distributions, and provide for family members.

· Tennessee Executor’s Deed

An executor’s deed is a legal document used to transfer real estate from an estate to an heir or beneficiary after the death of the former owner. The executor prepares the deed and submits it to the probate court for approval. The executor must gather all the necessary information from the deceased owner’s estate and obtain court approval before registering the deed with the county recorder. Upon registration, the declaration of legal heir or beneficiary as the real estate owner occurs.

Remember: Tennessee currently does not recognize Transfer-on-Death (TOD) deeds, which allow passing real estate on to a designated beneficiary upon the current owner’s death. Such a deed would give the owner more control over their property during their lifetime. A bill is in the legislature to make such a practice legal in Tennessee. It would adopt the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act if passed.

On the other hand, one can go different ways to take the title: Tenants In Common, Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship, and Tenants by Entirety.

To understand Deeds in Tennessee further, click here.

Know the deeds and legal requirements well before signing. Furthermore, each Tennessee State has its probate process for transferring ownership when a person dies. Even Spouses or anyone needing help with property ownership transfer, we can help if you have questions.

Title Group of Tennessee

If you are looking for a reasonable attorney for any ownership transfer process, don’t hesitate to contact us because we are a team of experienced attorneys working for goodwill. We can help you throughout the process smoothly and maintain transparency with all legal dealings.

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