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The Role of a Real Estate Lawyer in Estate Planning

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What is the role of a real estate lawyer in estate planning

Estate planning is a complex and important legal process. It involves determining how your assets and property will be distributed, as well as addressing tax matters.

A real estate lawyer can assist you with all aspects of your estate plan. These professionals are experts in state and federal tax law and estate law.

Real Estate Transactions

Real estate transactions are a key component of most individuals’ estate plans. Transfers of real property between family members, into or out of trusts, and refinancing mortgages are common strategies to help minimize estate tax liability and protect assets.

In many cases, however, these types of transfers may create other legal issues that require careful attention to the specifics. In particular, if the real estate is held in a trust or a partnership, the transfer will likely impact the underlying estate plan and must be carefully addressed by an experienced estate planning attorney.

While the transactional process varies between buyers and sellers, it usually involves several phases, each of which has its own set of deadlines and critical information that must not be forgotten. Paperless Pipeline provides tools that allow agents to easily manage each phase and ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed on time.

Zoning Laws

Zoning is a land-use control tool that allows specific land uses on particular sites to shape the layout of towns and cities and enable various types of development.

Zoning regulations establish minimum lot sizes, setback lines and aesthetic requirements thought to enhance a community. They may also require building materials and other features to ensure that new development does not cause negative spillover impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, such as noise, traffic, pollution or air quality.

These regulations are not set in stone – they can be changed or amended as the needs of the local government change, or exceptions (often called “variances”) can be granted.

These changes can be complex and challenging, as they often involve competing interests among landowners. In addition, zoning laws are frequently the subject of appeals to boards of zoning appeals, which are quasi-judicial bodies that conduct hearings with sworn testimony and whose decisions are generally subject to court review.

Property Deeds

Deeds are legal documents that transfer ownership of real property from one person to another. They must contain the names of both the grantor and the grantee and a complete description of the property being transferred.

When it comes to estate planning, property deeds can be important in helping you transfer your assets to heirs without going through the probate process. However, this process can be very complex, and it’s best to have a qualified estate planning attorney help you with this process.

Types of property deeds include life estate, bargain and sale, quitclaim, general warranty and special warranty. The type of deed you choose depends on how you intend to use your property and your estate planning goals.

A life estate deed allows the owner to transfer their property to a surviving family member or a designated heir upon their death. This can be beneficial for several reasons, including estate tax savings, asset protection and the ability to leave a gift of property to your beneficiaries.

Closing

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the closing process is critical. This is when the property ownership officially transfers from the seller to the buyer, after which the buyer can move forward with renovations and resale.

A real estate lawyer will play a critical role in this final step of the process, ensuring that all of the necessary documents are completed and filed correctly. These include the purchase contract, any other agreements made with the seller, documentation from your lender, and title and transfer documents.

It’s also a good idea to perform a final walkthrough of the home before the closing date, to make sure that there haven’t been any problems with repairs or possessions that the seller has removed. These issues could push the closing date back and cause delays in the transaction.

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