You do not have to use an attorney to do this for you but you do need to know what to do. There are also ancillary forms to be recorded with a deed. My suggestion is to have an attorney or a person familiar with what needs to be done take care of this for you. If you mean how long does it take for the new deed to be recorded it will vary by county. An estimate is 2 -5 weeks. If no money is changing hands, there will be no transfer taxes due, but there will be recording charges to be paid.
It is not required but it would be a good idea especially given that there could be gift tax issues.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
A house is an important asset.
It is foolish to transfer titles, with all that it implies, by yourself.
Spend the money and let an experienced attorney do it correctly.
Note: This response is for general informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created. No responsiblity shall be taken by the submitting attorney for any individuals acting pursuant to any information contained herein.
By law, you do not need a lawyer to assist you in preparing and recording a Deed and the requisite ancillary documents, but more importantly, you need to know which documents need to be properly prepared, executed and acknowledged, you also need to know how to prepare the appropriate transfer tax returns and how to calculate the tax, if any, due thereon. You need to ensure that the appropriate parties thereon are all included, you need to ensure that the real estate is properly described in the Deed, you need to properly prepare the necessary cover pages and calculate the recording fees.
In fact, before attempting this you need to consider the potential gift tax consequences, the tax basis consequences, the estate planning ramifications, whether there are judgments/liens against the Grantor that continue as clouds against the real estate, you need to consider the potential acceleration of the mortgage if there is an effective due-on-sale clause, and you need to consider the effect on the Grantor's title insurance policy. The above list is only what came to mind, there could be more ramifications to consider. So how long does it take to effectuate the transfer? Firstly you have to ensure that the documents are all prepared and executed correctly.
You don't need a lawyer in the sense that one isn't legally required, but it's always a good idea, particularly since there can be other issues, such as tax issues, that might not be readily apparent to you.
My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference.
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