Out of everything to keep in mind while working on your estate plan, your home is probably the single asset with the highest value and the most complications. You need to know that it ends up with your children as you intend when you pass away, or else the entire purpose of your estate plan can feel undermined. What can you do to ensure that your home is passed onto your children?
You can probably use one of these four estate planning tools to pass your home to your children:
- Will: With a correctly drafted will, you can decide who inherits what pieces of your property and why. If you have one child, then you should be able to easily leave your home to them, accounting for any debts or mortgages you leave unpaid first. If you have multiple children, then the matter can get more complicated. Some parents decide to instruct for their home to be sold and the proceeds to be distributed evenly among their children. Others leave their home to one child who then inherits less in other ways, or who agrees to buy the portions that belong to the other children at a fair market value.
- Living trust: You can use a trust to transfer control of your home to your child before you pass away. The appointed trustee will become responsible for important decisions regarding the home, including the management of any debt repayments related to the home. A trust will allow your home to avoid probate, so this option might be the best one if you are worried about how probate could complicate matters for your family.
- Transfer on death: An estate planning tool that lets you avoid probate without immediate giving up control of your home to a trustee is a transfer on death agreement or contract. When you pass away, a home placed into such a contract will instantly be transferred to the ownership of the child you named as the new owner. But until that day, it is still your home to manage and maintain as you wish.
- Joint ownership: You can assign one of your children as the joint owner of your home. When you pass away, there will be no additional steps or transfers needed because your child is already an owner of the property. Joint ownership is usually held between two spouses, though, so there could be issues if you try to add your child as a joint owner onto the title or deed.
Attorney Mark Martella is Here to Help
Protecting your home and ensuring it goes to your children when you pass away can be stressful. If you live in Florida, then you can count on Attorney Mark Martella of The Dellutri Law Group, PA for legal guidance and moral support. Mark is our firm’s leading legal professional for all matters related to estate planning and adjacent practices, such as bankruptcy and foreclosure defense. You can trust him with any questions and concerns you might have about your estate plan, so you can wrap it up and feel confident that your family will be taken care of even after you are gone.
Discuss what to do with your home in your estate plan by contacting our firm now.