Disposing of property in Florida can easily be effectuated through a simple legal document -- a deed. While making the conveyance itself is simple, there are a few considerations that must be taken into account before you give the property to another person. Before attempting to give property to another person you should make sure that your property is unencumbered and that any deed you have prepared comports with Florida state law and county statutes.
Preparation and Disposition
Confirm that you are the owner of the property. Consult your deed and other title records to ensure that you are able to convey the property to someone else without restrictions. Your deed should, at least, list you as a grantee. If your deed lists you and another person as grantees then you may be in a joint tenancy. If you are in a joint tenancy then you may not be able to give the property away without the permission of the other property owners.
Determine whether or not there is a mortgage on your property. If you have previously encumbered your property with a mortgage then you may not want to give your property away until you have paid off any debts owed on the property. Failure to pay off a mortgage debt before giving away your property could trigger an acceleration clause found in many promissory notes. Triggering the acceleration clause could require you to immediately pay off the remaining balance of your mortgage.
Have a Florida-licensed attorney prepare a deed to convey your property to another person. The deed should list you and any other owners as grantors and the person you're conveying to as grantee. A deed must also sufficiently describe the property's location and comport with any additional local requirements. Local requirements vary from county to county so having an attorney that is familiar with the particular deed requirements of your county prepare your deed may save you time and frustration.
Execute the deed. All jurisdictions require a grantor to sign her deed in order for it to be valid. Some jurisdictions also require witnesses to be present for the grantor's signature and for a notary to seal the document.
Verify that the deed has been recorded. If the deed has been properly recorded then it will be entered into the county's grantor-grantee index. The grantor-grantee index is a formal record of property conveyances made in the county and having your conveyance in the index provides notice to the public that the property no longer belongs to you.
Gifting property to another person may trigger federal or Florida gift tax liability. Consider consulting a qualified tax attorney to determine whether or not your gift of property may trigger a gift tax liability.
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