Transferring property

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Transferring property

Postby vchiu25 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:12 am

We are transferring a single family home between family in Washington state (no money involved). I did some research, look like we need to do a quitclaim and excise tax affidavit.

Has anyone in the forum done this before? Is this something I can do myself or should I get an attorney? How do people usually go about finding a good attorney? I contacted one and he wanted $400 for it. That seems a bit high?
Last edited by vchiu25 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby ksb » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:12 pm

Disclaimer: I am an attorney licensed to practice in WA, but I'm not your attorney. And for all you know, I could be a really poor attorney who's currently at risk of being disbarred. Caveat emptor.

I did a similar thing (quitclaim my mom's house to my parents' community property). $400 seems reasonable for an attorney to do this, because even if it's just not complicated work, just dealing with a client takes some time.

If you want to do it yourself, you need a quitclaim deed like this: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=64.04.050

Then you need to take it down to your county's recorder's office and pay a fee to have it recorded.

You also need to fill out the excise tax affidavit (http://dor.wa.gov/docs/forms/realestexc ... ffid_e.pdf) and figure out the appropriate exemption (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=458-61a)
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby vchiu25 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:45 pm

Thanks, the forms seems a bit confusing, maybe I do need help.

Has anyone have any experience with LegalZoom?

What is the best way of finding a local attorney if I go down that route?
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby seattlereader » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:50 am

Very timely as i was just getting ready to research this subject.

When a quit claim deed is used does the title insurance have to be reissued? (no lender involved/Free and clear)

it is a huge expense in comparison to the attorney's assistance. (multiple thousands $ for new title policy)

I've called three title companies and gotten three answers.
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby Gnirk » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:00 pm

Title insurance is used to protect the buyer (or lien holder) and ensure the property has no issues or encumbrances. If the new owner is comfortable with not having title insurance, then just use the Quit Claim Deed, and make sure the deed is recorded. If the property is a gift, there should be no excise tax due, but may be a fee for processing.
My husband recently used a Quit Claim deed to add my name as joint owner on our house. (he owned it before we married 18 years ago).
The forms are fairly simple.
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby Watty » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:47 pm

It varies greately with the state law but in some states a title company might be able to handle the paperwork for less than a lawyer would cost. If the house wasn't bought too long ago you could check with the title company that handled the paperwork then to see if this is allowed in your state.


We are transferring a single family home between family in Washington state (no money involved).


Wouldn't that trigger a gift tax if they are not spouses?

It would also be good to also look into capital gains and how that works with gifts. For example if the giver bought the house 40 years ago and it is given to a kid who sells it in ten years, then I would think that the cost basis would be what was paid for it when it was origionally bought 40 years ago. If nothing else it would be good to at least make sure that the paperwork establishing the cost basis is passed on to the person who get the house. Without that paperwork then zero might have to be used as the cost basis.

Depending on the value of the house and the ages of the people involved another option might be to set up some sort of trust that could hold the title of the house and then eventually be inherited at a stepped up cost basis to avoid paying any capital gains taxes.
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby vchiu25 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:39 am

My understanding is if its under 5 million lifetime exclusion there will be no gift tax.

Gnirk, do you remember what you have to put in the excise form to get exempt from excise tax?

Seattlreader, we should compare note.
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby PacNorWest » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:56 am

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Last edited by PacNorWest on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transferring property in Washington state

Postby Gnirk » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:09 pm

vchiu25 wrote:My understanding is if its under 5 million lifetime exclusion there will be no gift tax.

Gnirk, do you remember what you have to put in the excise form to get exempt from excise tax?

Seattlreader, we should compare note.


Our papers are in our safe deposit box, but I did some on-line research at www.dor.wa.gov and according to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) I believe it is WAC 458-61A-201 Gifts are exempted from the excise tax.

You can probably confirm this with a call to your County Treasurer's office.
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