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A deed that is good in California should be good in Florida too because, after all, they are both in the same country, right?
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
California and Florida certainly are in the same country; however, when it comes to the law, there is no “uniformity” in the United States. Some laws vary from state to state and can generate a big confusion when facing specific legal issues. One of those laws it the one that covers deeds, and though unknown to most people (including many inexperienced lawyers) deeds in other states may require a notary public but no witnesses, deeds in Florida, however, will require not only a notary but also two witnesses. For this reason, if you were to search the internet for a standard “deed form,” or to take a sample deed from a state other than the one in which you live, it may or may not be the right deed form for your state. Unfortunately, even lawyers sometimes forget or are never aware that each state’s laws can be different in very subtle ways, so they will typically prepare a deed form from another state for use in Florida, assuming, quite erroneously, that what is good in their state will be good in all of them. That is obviously wrong.
Another variation is whether a deed to a husband and wife will create a survivorship form of ownership without specifically including the words “with the right of survivorship” in it. Under Florida law, those specific words are not required, but they could be a requirement in another state. In Florida, those specific words – “with the right of survivorship” – will only be necessary to establish that kind of ownership between two owners of the same property but not husband and wife. This is true, however, only in Florida and certain states.
Some states will allow a “beneficiary deed” – which will not change title until the death of the owner. At the time of the death of the owner, title will be transferred to the deed beneficiary without going through a probate administration process. In Florida, however, the law does not allow that.
By this point into this article, you must be getting the picture. Some laws, like federal income tax, immigration, and bankruptcy are established by Congress and will remain the same without any alteration or variation in every single state in the country. However, other laws such as probate and real estate are established by each individual state legislatures and courts and can be highly different from state to state.
For the reasons explained above, when it comes to your real property, you should never, under any circumstances, use deed forms that you have downloaded from the internet or forms that are valid in a state other than yours until they have been reviewed, analyzed, and ultimately approved by someone who is familiar with the law of your state, preferably a lawyer. Using the wrong deed form can create a legal mess to remember.
Contact Our Lawyers for Your Florida Probate Needs
At Farshchian Law, P.A., our Florida probate attorneys and legal staff understand that probate law can be highly confusing for beneficiaries and personal representatives who have never gone through this process before. For this reason, we encourage potential clients to contact us and schedule an initial consultation, which will help determine how we can approach their cases so that our services can save them as much money as possible.
Under Florida probate law, lawyers are allowed to charge clients a fee of up to 3% of the total value of the estate they are handling. At Farshchian Law, P.A., however, we do not believe that this system is the best choice since it could result in a ridiculously high fee that sometimes can be more than the services are actually worth if the value of the estate is too high. When working on estate probate, our lawyers will either charge hourly rates or establish flat fees for their services.
At Farshchian Law, P.A., we have a team of lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants ready to assist you with your Florida probate administration needs no matter how unique and complex they are.
Our team of skilled and experienced attorneys and legal staff looks forward to helping you with your estate and probate needs. Although our main office is located in Miami, we handle the probate administration process for estates all over the beautiful state of Florida.