If I want to sell an inherited tract of land to a co-beneficiary, is a deed in my name necessary?

I'm one of two beneficiaries of an estate where I am to split two identical (same value) tracts of land with the other beneficiary. The estate attorney said he has to deed one piece in my name before he can re-deed it into the name of the other beneficiary I sell it to. Is that really necessary? I don't own any of it, the estate owns it, so why can't I just sign a paper saying the other beneficiary pays me x amount to secure it from me and get it deeded straight from the estate to the other beneficiary rather than what the attorney said to do which is deed to me, then to the other person. Thanks

Little Rock, AR -

Attorney Answers (2)

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Estate Planning Attorney - Livonia, MI
Answered

I have seen this handled both ways. Your solution actually may be the more common way to do it. Having said that, I do not see it being a problem to do it the other way. I wonder about possible transfer tax issues. But the attorney is in possession of all the facts that we are not. Given the UPL issue, you are going to need to have someone else handle this. In a sense, that will give you all a second opinion on the matter. When in doubt, you can always seek direction from the judge, as well. A court order is safe for everyone.

James Frederick

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Robert L. Brenna Jr.

Robert L. Brenna Jr.

Estate Planning Attorney - Rochester, NY
Answered

Thre are numerous reasons why this may be necessary, including:
1-havbing a proper trail of title to show any future purchasers that you have no claim remaining under the will
2- taxation basis in the property, which gets the stepped up basis when inherited as opposed to the decedent's cost basis
I wouldn't worry about the Attorney's advice- It will cost very little and I can't second guess the opinion of one licensed in your state ( I am not), and also one who is more familiar with the facts. Best regards,
Bob Brenna Jr.
Brenna Brenna and Boyce pllc
Rochester, New York 14614

Bob, Robert L. Brenna, Jr. No relationship is intended, agreed upon or accepted by answering this general... more

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