For many people living in California, their house is their most valuable property. It has both intense sentimental value and also more financial value than any other assets in their names.
If your home represents a significant portion of your personal wealth, then it will play a major role in your estate plan. There are several different ways that you can plan to pass on your house when you plan your legacy.
Move it into a trust
If you worry that creditors might sue you later or that Medicaid could come after your home because you may need benefits, transferring your home into a trust could be a good solution. A trust also allows you to give someone tenancy at a property without allowing them to sell it.
Execute a deed to add someone to the title
If you want the property to pass to your live-in romantic partner who is not your spouse or to the child who moved in to serve as your caregiver, you can add them to the title now to allow your house to bypass probate when you die.
If you hold the title as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the ownership interest you have in the property is passed to the other owner when you die without needing to go through probate or putting you at risk of the state taxes.
Leave instructions to sell the house
Some people writing or reviewing their will already know that their beneficiaries will never live in their homes. They can arrange to sell those properties after they die so that their loved ones receive the proceeds and not the responsibility of homeownership.
Considering the right approach carefully can help you make the best plans possible for the biggest asset in your estate.