Q&A with Loraine: I’m Purchasing a House this Year. I Want My Children to Inherit the Property Without Going to Probate Court. Where Should I Start?

Question: I will be purchasing a house at the end of the year, and I want the transfer of property to be as simple as possible for my three children. I want to reduce all paperwork and financial burden on my children, not have to pay any additional taxes, and avoid the probate process. Should I transfer the property into a trust or a joint tenancy?

Loraine’s Answer: Before you can determine the most appropriate mechanism for accomplishing your goals, you should have a consultation with an estate planning attorney to uncover the facts of your situation and advise you on the best course to take. A revocable living trust that bypasses the probate process may work well, depending on your situation. Even if your property must go through probate, it’s usually a relatively smooth and low cost process if you have proper planning and a valid Will in place. 

In addition to concerning yourself with how your children will receive your home, you should also consult an estate planning attorney about how to ensure you will have someone to help manage your personal, financial, and health care affairs if you are ever incapacitated but still living. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you get started on an advance directive for healthcare and a power of attorney. 

Key Estate Planning Takeaway: Good estate planning can minimize costs and hassles for your family after your death, while also allowing you to protect yourself if you ever become incapacitated while you are still living. 

This “Q&A with Loraine” blog series features answers based on responses from Morgan + DiSalvo Partner Loraine DiSalvo to questions posted on www.avvo.com. A key takeaway from each exchange highlights an important facet of estate planning. 

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