If you’re passing property down in your estate plan, it can be a bit more complicated than simply passing on financial assets. You need to know exactly how to address this real estate and what options you have.
Of course, everyone is in a unique situation. Therefore, the first step is simply to ask questions about your state to determine what your goals are and how you can accomplish them. Here are a few things that can help you get started as you begin this process.
Who do you want to leave the property to?
One option is simply to put your property in your will, and you can pass the home on to someone else that way. However, you do need to determine who you want to leave the property to and it can be very difficult when there are multiple individuals. They may need to take over joint ownership, which means they also have to split up taxes, utilities and many other costs. If you’re going to do this, it’s important to talk to your heirs first to work out a plan for the future.
How many properties do you own?
Another question is just whether or not you have multiple properties. If so, it may be wise to put them into a trust. This is especially true if you have properties both inside and outside of the state, or even outside of the country. This can help you avoid having to go through probate in numerous states just to move that property to your heirs.
Is it better to sell?
When things become very complicated, such as when two children want to be the sole owners of the same piece of property, people sometimes look for other solutions. One option is to sell the property. This may not be ideal if you would rather that it stayed in the family, but it does convert that property into a financial asset, which can then be divided between your heirs. You may see this as a last resort, but it’s good to know that it’s an option when nothing else can be determined.
These are just a few of the things to think about as you begin your estate plan, so take the time to look at all the options you have and how they may fit your situation.