Leaving a home to one’s children is of major importance to many parents. Your first step should be to be sure that your children actually want the property. I have seen too many parents take on unnecessary financial burdens in order to keep a home as an inheritance their children have no true desire for.
With that precaution in mind, here are some of the most common ways to leave your home to your kids:
Will. Your will allows you to leave real estate to anyone. Once the will has been probated, your children will receive title to the property.
Trust. Using a trust is a common and convenient way to transfer property without having to go through probate. Title is automatically transferred upon a triggering event — in this case, the death of the original property owner.
Joint tenancy with right of survivorship. If you choose this method, your children can be added to your property title while you are still alive. When you pass, the children become owners of the property as surviving joint owners.
Transfer on death deed. In contrast to the previous method, this allows you to specify a beneficiary for your property without providing a present interest in it to the beneficiary. Upon your passing, the beneficiary takes title. Unlike joint tenancy with right of survivorship, you can change your mind and cancel the transfer on death deed. If you choose to take this route, it is of utmost importance that you get your transfer on death deed recorded with the county of your residence before you pass, otherwise it will have no effect. If you want to know more about transfer on death deeds and why they are better than a quit claim deed, you can read more here.
Life estate. In order to fully transfer title to the property while retaining the right to residence so long as you live, a life estate is necessary. After your death, the beneficiary owns the entire interest in the property.
There are positives and negatives to each alternative. The assistance of a Personal Family Lawyer can greatly facilitate the decision on which option is best-suited to you and your family.
If you’d like to learn more about estate planning, call our office today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
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