Q: What is the best form of deed to use to transfer real property to a trust?
My wife and I live in California and own two investment properties (single family homes) in Nevada. We recently set up a California Trust. We would like to transfer the Nevada properties to the trust. I have read from a variety of what appear to be reputable sources that use of a quitclaim deed for this purpose is not advised because it can cause issues for the trust beneficiaries if and when they elect to sell the property. These sources generally recommend using a warranty deed. However, when we acquired these properties, we received a grant deed on one and a special warranty deed on the other. Is it wise to use a warranty deed to transfer to the trust, not having received one when we purchased the properties? Is a Grant deed a better choice for these circumstances?
A: Another important consideration is whether or not you have title insurance on those properties. My best advice would be for you to take your existing deeds and your title insurance policies to a real estate attorney for review and to prepare the deed into your trust. Another really good option would be to ask the attorney that prepared your trust to assist you. Most estate planning attorneys are capable of assisting with this. Indeed, most include deed work as part of the service.
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