Over the years, family homes can change from mere residences to a meaningful part of life. For those buying their first—perhaps only—home, a common goal is preserving it and passing it on to future generations.
The purchase of a residence is only the first step in creating a home for the generations and an enduring legacy. Once you have secured the property, preserve it through estate planning. The steps you take now give you peace of mind and help your family after your death.
Consider a trust
When you die, your assets will go to your heirs and beneficiaries per your instructions, but they must pass through probate first. Placing your home in a trust keeps it out of probate, ensuring a smooth transition for your loved ones. You can also put other complex assets into the trust, such as boats, valuable collections or vacation property.
Or, consider a life estate
With a life estate deed, you essentially share ownership of the home with others (typically family members) called remaindermen. While alive, the house is yours to reside in and use. Once you die, ownership transfers smoothly to the remaindermen without passing through probate. Further, a life estate can help you qualify for Medicaid if that is a factor.
As you can see, many life events can trigger the need for estate planning or updates to an existing plan. Fortunately, you have the power to tailor your estate arrangements to accommodate all stages of life. To get started, increase your knowledge of Florida estate planning, wills and trusts laws by seeking legal guidance.