Estate planning is a vital but often overlooked task. Although many people have a relatively simple estate planning process, some have assets that make planning for inheritances much more complicated. One of these is real property. And a land surveyor may be able to help. How? Here are a few of the most common reasons to engage a surveyor during your estate planning journey.
1. To Quiet the Title.
Sometimes, the title to a piece of property becomes problematic, neglected, wrong, or disputed over the years. A survey can help establish things like the true boundaries of the property, property rights, or locations and status of easements. Quieting a title now protects your heirs from having to go through the legal steps to do so when you pass.
2. To Establish Responsibility.
Consider any ongoing border problems you currently have with neighbors. Are any trees on the property line? Do you know which are yours and which are your neighbors'? Is there any question about driveways, underground utilities, tree roots, setbacks, or fencing? Because ignoring a boundary issue can lead to adverse possession of your land, the best time to address these is before you pass on the title.
3. For Potential Division.
Do your heirs want to subdivide the property later? This can happen because they want to develop it, share it, use it, or get a higher price when selling. But before anyone makes any plans, you should all know the correct potential for division according to legal and physical parameters.
4. To Value the Property.
Estate planning relies on an accurate valuation of all assets you own. But if you aren't exactly sure what's going on with your real property, you can't value it with certainty. A survey will establish its boundaries, the locations, and types of structures, natural resources, and reductions for easements.
5. For Future Rezoning.
Along with division, some heirs decide to change the use of a piece of inherited property. But they will need to know what they can and cannot do with it. If there is any possibility of changing from single to multifamily housing or from residential to business use, a surveyor will help you understand zoning allowances.
Could planning your property's future beyond you benefit from help in any of these areas? If so, start by consulting with a land surveying service in your state today. Together, you can ensure that your loved ones get no unwanted surprises when they receive your legacy.