Q: I purchased a Florida condo a few years ago while still living in Maryland and later made it my permanent residence.
While I was still living in Maryland, I created a revocable living trust for my affairs, but did not put the Florida condo into the trust.
I now wish to transfer the condo into the trust but don’t really know how to accomplish this.
Can I do this myself or do I require a lawyer? If I can do it myself, could you please explain specifically how I do it? Can I just fill out paper work and file it somewhere? If so, where do I file it and how can I get it done?
A: What you need to do is retitle the condo into the name of the trust. You can use a deed that would convey your interest in the property to your trust.
Can you do this yourself? Yes, but you’d better be careful. You can obtain a deed to transfer your interest in the Florida condominium to your trust from a title company or closing agent in Florida where your condominium is located. You can then contact the local recorder of deeds to find out what specific requirements and additional forms they have for recording documents in the county in which the condominium is located. Finally, after completing the deed and other forms, you will have to pay the fee to record the document along with any additional fees required by the local municipality and county.
If you mess up in your endeavor, you might pay a high price. You might mess up the title to the property, which could haunt you down the line.
A better idea is to pay an attorney a couple of hundred bucks to transfer the title for you. You can also go to a title company and work with a closing agent or escrow agent.
Feb. 28, 2008