If you have the question, “Can I sign over my inheritance to someone else?” in your mind, you’re at the right place! It’s indeed an important question, as a lot of people want to donate their wealth to organizations or gift it to a friend, family member, or someone who’s not a blood relative.
Good for you that this guide is here to help you out! This guide is all about the laws of inheritance in the USA, how you can transfer your inheritance, its type, and how you can sign over your inheritance to someone else.
We’ve devised a step-by-step guide in simple points that explain the entire process of inheritance transfer along with how much this process costs. So be with us till the end of our guide and learn the safest way to sign your wealth to a responsible person.
Can I Sign Over My Inheritance To Someone Else? An Overview
The short and simple answer is YES! You can transfer the inheritance to someone else, but remember to do this: you need the ownership. First, you must legally inherit the inheritance; transferring it becomes entirely yours once it’s in your name.
Many individuals don’t want to inherit the property due to tax or personal reasons. In this case, you’re free to give up on the inheritance. The only necessary step you need to take is renouncing the inheritance.
In legal terms, renouncing an inheritance means formally declining to accept it. For this, hire an attorney in your state. Consult everything with him about the jurisdiction’s specific laws, and then you can renounce the inheritances.
However, you must know that in case of renunciation, everything will go back to the legal beneficiaries like children, spouses, siblings, etc. You won’t be able to decide who’ll inherit the inheritance later on.
Therefore, if you really want someone to inherit everything, you must get the ownership. Afterward, you can give it to anyone with TOD (transfer of death) or as a gift. In both situations, tax implications need to follow.
Types of Inheritance Transfer In The USA
If you’ve decided to transfer your inheritance to someone else, you should definitely learn about the type of inheritance transfer in the USA. It will help you understand how you can do everything legally.
- Transfer On Death (TOD): Transfer on Death is a commonly used method to transfer inheritance in the United States. With TOD, you can choose a specific beneficiary who will inherit the property upon your passing.
- Gift Deed: Gift Deed simply means your wish to gift your inheritance to someone while you are alive. This legal document transfers inheritance ownership to the other party when you’re alive.
- Joint Ownership: Joint Ownership means you want someone to become a joint owner of your inherited property. This grants them ownership rights and responsibilities just like you.
Decide how you want to transfer the inheritance. Do you want someone to inherit your wealth after death, in your life as a gift, or want to give someone joint ownership? After deciding, follow the process we’ll explain below.
Step-By-Step Guide To Transfer Property To Someone Else
Here is the step-by-step guide to transferring property. Before you read further, know that the points below are based on general property transfer rules. The process might be slightly different based on the laws of your state.
1. Discuss Details of Inheritance With The New Owner
Before initiating the inheritance transfer process, discuss with the intended new owner. Clarify all legal points, and discuss why you want the transfer, its condition, or the upcoming responsibilities.
It’s important to ensure the new owner is ready for this responsibility. If the person doesn’t want to inherit the property, you must find someone else who’s up for the responsibility and terms and conditions.
2. Hire A Professional Attorney
The second vital step is to hire an attorney in your state. After hiring, discuss everything with your attorney in detail, like the situation of your inheritance, who’ll be the next owner, what will be his responsibilities, or any other terms or conditions you want to add.
The attorney will create the deed as per your requirements. You can also get help from CPT Law and hire our attorney to perform the process for you. We offer free consultations to provide the best service to satisfy the clients in California.
3. Work Out & Finalize The Deed
Never leave everything to the attorney; always make sure to check the draft to finalize the deed. Read every detail, your and the new owner’s information like name, address, and all the rules and regulations.
If any changes are needed, make them on time. Then, notarize the deed with the signatures of a notary. It’s an important step; without a notary, you can’t verify the deed, nor will it have any legal value. Here are a few rules to become a notary:
- Be present during the notarization process.
- Must be over the age of 18.
- Mentally competent to sign and understand the documents.
- Must have proof of identity.
- Show no signs of signing under duress.
4. Record The Deed – Final Step
After the deed is finalized, inform relevant parties of the inheritance transfer, including utility companies, homeowners, or anyone associated with the property. Take the deed to the local government office to complete the inheritance transfer process.
Note: Ensure inheritance tax records are updated with the new owner’s information to prevent any issues. The tax depends on the state you live in and have the inheritance.
How Much Does A Deed Transfer Cost?
The cost of the deed transfer depends on various factors like the state you live in, your inheritance, tax and so forth. However, in general, this process usually takes $150 to $1000 or even more.
Everything depends on the fee, taxes of your state and also the fee of the attorney. The bigger your inheritance is, the more you have to pay taxes and the attorney fee. So to get the right answer, contact the attorney and local govt office about fees and taxes.
If we sum up the entire answer, can I sign over my inheritance to someone else? It would be yes, you can, but there are some rules and regulations. You must be the owner of the inheritance and then choose whether you want to give the inheritance.
There are three main ways to transfer the inheritance: as a gift, transfer on death (TOD), and joint ownership. You can choose how you want to transfer the inheritance; each transfer method has its pros and cons, so make sure to discuss everything with your attorney.
Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.