Purchasing a home or other form of property is one of the most important milestones for every individual. If you own a house or other forms of property, you don’t want to leave such valuable possessions in the hands of the government if you pass away or become incapacitated. You can take premeditated steps to protect their home and their loved ones.
Step 1: Consider Your Wishes
Before starting an estate plan, the first thing you should do is consider your wishes. To help you determine how you want your property to be handled after your death or incapacitation, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- If I become sick and can no longer care for myself, who do I want to make decisions on my behalf?
- How will my assets, including my property, be distributed after my death?
- Are your assets still owned by my trust, real estate, bank, or brokerage accounts?
Although it’s difficult to think about a time away from your loved ones, they are important questions that you should answer. Doing so will help you ensure that your home or property is left to the people or the organization of your choice.
Step 2: Contact an Attorney
Once you’ve thought about your wishes, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. Every person’s life situations are different – that means that every estate plan will be different. An estate planning lawyer can analyze your unique situation and help you determine which legal documents are needed to protect your house and your wishes.
If you need guidance with your estate planning, our team at Marsden Law P.C. is here to help.
Your estate plan should include your will and other legal documents to ensure that your wishes are met. If you have various assets, such as property, investments, or retirement accounts, your estate planning process may be a bit complex. Your attorney can help you complete documents and ensure that your estate plan is in accordance with state laws.
Step 3: Draft Your Will & Trust
When you draft your will, you will choose beneficiaries to receive your assets, including your home, when you die. You can also choose how you want personal items to be divided.
A trust also describes exactly how and when your assets will be distributed after your death. However, a trust has additional benefits used to minimize taxes, avoid probate, and name who will care for your minor children after your death.
People often use a trust in combination with a will. The primary difference between a trust and a will is that a trust avoids the probate process of transferring property from you to your beneficiaries. If you die without a will or trust, your state law will decide how your assets are divided. This could leave your loved ones with the need to go to court and claim your assets (this process could take several years).
Step 4: Include Your Home in Your Trust
Depending on your attorney’s legal counsel, listing your home in your trust can help you protect it in the future. Putting your house in a trust will save your children or spouse from the hefty fee of probate costs, which can be up to three percent of your asset's value. In most cases, all high-value assets you own should be added to a trust.
Learn more about how you can protect your assets with estate planning by contacting Marsden Law P.C. today at (800) 828-7854!