Four Ways to Take Title to Florida Real Estate

Four Ways to Take Title to Florida Real Estate

Jan 17 2018

There is more than one way to own Florida Real Estate, and how you take title (legal ownership) to a property will depend on what you have in mind for your new home. Each type of ownership has its own implications, including tax liability, estate planning, and asset protection. Thus, you will need to think carefully about your Florida Real Estate goals and work with the legal experts at Marina Title to determine which of the following forms of ownership best fit your needs.

Sole Ownership
The simplest and most straightforward form of ownership, it entails taking title to the property in an individual’s own name. Sole ownership is therefore common for those who are unmarried or legally divorced, although a married individual can take title in this way if they wish to have only their name on title. Note that with sole ownership, Florida law requires the spouse of the sole owner to formally relinquish his or her right to the property.

Joint Ownership
When two or more people buy a Florida property, they can take title together to become joint tenants, also known as tenants in common. This means every individual listed as a joint owner has the right to lease, transfer ownership of their interest, and even sell the property. There is no limit to the number of people who can take joint title to a property, making it a viable option for relatives, close friends, or business partners.

Joint ownership is most commonly used by married couples in the form of a “tenancy by entirety,” in which each spouse has equal ownership rights over the property (although both spouses must consent to any sale or transfer of interest in the property). A tenancy by entirety automatically include a “right of survivorship,” so that when one spouse dies, their share is automatically transferred to the surviving partner. This survivorship right can also be included in other joint ownership arrangements, but in those situations, the express language of “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” must be included in the deed conveying title.

Ownership Through an Entity
Title to the property can be taken in the name of a business entity, such as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. The ownership interest in the property will therefore be proportional to the shares held by each member. Holding title through a distinct legal entity confers a range of benefits to owners, including personal liability protection from any debts or issues associated with the property, circumventing certain taxes (namely the estate tax), and facilitating management and passive investment in the property. For these reasons, this form of ownership is popular for income or investment properties.

Ownership Through a Trust
In certain circumstances, a property can be held in trust, in which the trustee is listed as the titleholder but only for the benefit of other people as set forth in the trust. This is a popular strategy for those wishing to avoid the probate process or seeking to bequeath property to nonadult heirs. It is also a good option for those who desire privacy, since the use of a trust does not reveal the actual owner of the property.

The above list is not comprehensive, and there are other strategies and ways to hold title to Florida real estate. How you choose to take ownership of your Florida Real Estate acquisitions requires careful consideration. Let our experienced team of legal and title specialists at Marina Title help you consider the different factors and implications involved. Our team of real estate and title attorneys has an extensive track record in helping clients from all backgrounds – from first-time home buyers to seasoned investors – determine the most prudent way to take title to their property. Call (305) 901-5628 or email to learn how we can help fulfill your real estate goals.

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