A deed is a written document that when properly prepared, signed, and recorded at the Registry of Deeds conveys title to real estate. The deed describes the seller and the buyer, provides a description of the real estate, and any conditions or limitations on one’s use of the commercial real estate.
Ballou & Bedell provides Seller Representation, which includes preparation of deed and associated forms. We can guide the Seller from the day they decide to sell until the conclusion of the transaction at closing. Common Seller forms that we prepare include Purchase and Sales Agreements, Limited Powers of Attorney, Agency Delegations to attend closing on a Seller’s behalf, and Maine Withholding Exemption Applications. Few out of state sellers realize that Maine requires 2.5% withholding until it is too late to get an exemption. Hiring Ballou & Bedell to assist you through the sale process will ensure that your closing goes smoothly.
DEEDS TO TRUST
In order to avoid probate, it is a common practice to form a Trust and then deed the property to the Trust. At Ballou & Bedell, we often assist estate planning attorneys and their clients in other states with the transfer of Maine property into personal trusts. Ballou & Bedell can assist clients in any county in Maine. In some circumstances, in order to preserve assets, it may make sense to place property in an Irrevocable Trust.
DEEDS TO CERTAIN FAMILY MEMBERS
At Ballou & Bedell, we also assist clients with deeds conveying property to family members (i.e. spouse, child). In order to avoid probate, spouses typically choose to own real estate as Joint Tenants. Sometimes people mistakenly think they own their home as Joint Tenants, but upon review of their deed realize they do not. Just because both names are on the deed does not necessarily mean it is owned as joint tenants. It is important to know how title to your property is held. Please contact us and we will be glad to obtain your deed from the registry to confirm ownership free of charge. In some circumstances, in order to preserve assets, it may even make sense to add a family member to your deed.
DEEDS TO CORPORATIONS AND LLCs
Ballou & Bedell assists small business and rental property owners with protecting their assets. One of the most simple and effective ways to shield your personal assets is to deed your rental or investment property to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or other corporate entity.
**NEW** REAL PROPERTY TRANSFER ON DEATH DEEDS
Transfer on Death Deeds allow a Maine real property owner 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 Ballou & Bedell today to see if this new deed is right for you!
Ballou & Bedell also assists clients within preparing easements deeds, boundary line deeds, and other more specialized deeds.
Looking to learn more? Check out Attorney Bedell’s handout:
What is the Best Way to Own Real Estate?