You may have purchased your dream home shortly before retirement. You bought a large property, with stunning views and made the backyard a pool paradise for your family to enjoy. Or you bought a vacation beach condo on the Gulf Coast years ago, a weekend getaway your children enjoyed while growing up and now your grandchildren visit too. Now you are older and want to plan for this property in your estate plan.
You are thinking of passing the ownership of your property to your children. Is that a good idea? What do you need to consider if you plan to pass down real estate to your heirs?
Passing down real estate ownership through estate planning
If you are thinking of passing down ownership of your real estate to your children in your estate plan, you should consider the following:
- Are your children interested in equally co-owning the property?
- Does one of your children want to maintain ownership of this property and the others don’t?
- Would your children rather you sell the property and split the assets from it as part of their inheritance?
- What will be the tax impact on your children if you pass ownership of this property to them in your estate plan?
- Are any of your children or heirs receiving government assistance and receiving this property upon your death will disqualify them from that?
- Should you use a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed to have ownership of this property quickly pass to your heirs when you die?
- Should you include your home in a revocable trust, where all those assets will pass to your children without going through probate?
Getting help with estate planning
When you plan to pass down real estate ownership in your estate plan, you need to consult an estate planning attorney about your options. An attorney can help you decide what might be the best solution for you and your children.
Sometimes, passing down real estate to your children when you die causes more complications and strains relationships. Sometimes, it’s the best choice to keep a beloved property in your family. You will need to consult your children about passing down this real estate too – to ensure they understand your intentions and are interested in maintaining ownership of your property when you pass on.