Featured News 2012 Where Will Your Home Go? Estate Planning for the Future

Where Will Your Home Go? Estate Planning for the Future

Many people are incredibly proud of their accomplishments as a hardworking homemaker. With love, creativity, and a lot of work, people take a house and turn it into a home, where they make memories and build a family. Right now, this is all well and good, but what will happen to your home in the future, when you are not around to care for it? Most people can't bear the idea that their home could be sold to a stranger when they pass away. So they take steps now to plan for the future, a process known as estate planning.

When you are estate planning, you will have a lot of choices to make. You can apportion all of your assets, including your home, in a will, which you can draft legally so that you can be confident that it will be upheld in court. If you fail to leave any kind of document that outlines where you want your home to go, the government will take charge, and apportion your assets to your relatives in a legal, and stoic fashion. You may not want your hard-work in the hands of a relative you weren't fond of, so it is very important to express your wishes regarding your estate in writing. You can hire an attorney to help you draft a legal will.

Another option for aging parents is to establish a living trust. In this arrangement, the trustee holds property for another person, who is known as a beneficiary. This way, as you age you can have a trusted relative or friend take care of your estate for you. Parents can also create trusts that are active after their death, where a person will hold the property for a child that is not yet old enough to be a homeowner. This is a great way to keep a home in the family if the children are still too young to take possession of the household immediately after their parent's passing. Also, you may want to look into a uniform transfer to minors, which may be able to cut estate taxes when you transfer the title of your home to a child. This form of gifting only applies for parents with children that are under 18. These parents can give a custodian the inheritance, which will be distributed to the child as he or she grows up.

Much to some parent's disappointment children may not want to keep a home in the family, and may choose to sell it and enjoy the profit of the transaction instead. Once the property has been transferred to a new owner, he or she will be declared the homeowner on the title deed, and can do anything he or she wants with the property. If you have outstanding debt at the time of your death, no one may get your home in the future. The bank might seize it as a repayment for the debt that you did not pay while you were alive. Because of this, it is important to clear any debt when you are planning to use your home as an inheritance for your children.

If you leave behind a spouse at the time of your death, he or she will probably inherit the house. Then it will be up to him or her whether or not to keep the home within the family and will it to a child in the future. Talk to a real estate lawyer, or a probate attorney to get more information about how to divide your estate. It is never too early to start planning for what will happen, and making sure that your property is safe in the hands of someone who can care for it.

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