One common scenario that estate planning attorneys encounter is clients who believe that deeding their home to their children solves the problem of avoiding probate. Most retired individual’s main asset is their home, which many have paid their mortgage off.
Such a situation is common for many of our clients, and the attorneys at Skillern Law Firm almost always advise against it. There are several practical and legal reasons to keep your home in your name, some of which are discussed in this article in the Huffington Post. The two main points that this article relates are property taxes and your child’s liabilities.
There are several more important reasons to avoid transferring your property rights to your child to avoid probate. These include:
- The relationship with your child could go south, or change once you transfer all your property rights to him/her. It’s amazing how a relationship can change once money or any inheritance is involve. Once the house is in their name, they have all the legal right to the home, and there is no obligation for them to let you live in it or transfer it back to you if you ever change your mind.
- If you have more than one child, this can put complications on some of your relationships with the other children, and it can create rifts between siblings. Putting your house in the name of one child can create relationship complications, but putting the house into all of your children’s names’ can create paperwork headaches, errors, and inheritance complications.
- There are other ways to avoid probate. One of the easiest ways to avoid probate is to create a Revocable Living Trust. You can read more about trusts on a previous post here. Essentially, a Revocable Living Trust are flexible, customizable depending on your situation, and usually cheaper than what probate will cost your heirs.
Do not make a common estate planning mistake that could possibly cost you to lose your home and cause problems within your family. Contact Skillern Law to discuss how they can assist you to protect your family and heirs, as well as your assets, from probate, liabilities, and common misconceptions about avoiding probate.