Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Making Sure Your Children Inherit Your Home

Are you planning to leave your home to your children? It is very common for parents to want to do this, especially considering a person’s home is usually one of their biggest assets. If you know that you want to leave your home to your children, have you considered how you want to do this? There are, in fact, several ways you can plan for the transfer of your home to your children after you die.

Making Sure Your Children Inherit Your Home

A will is probably the most well-known estate planning tool, especially when it comes to mechanisms for the transfer of assets to heirs after a person’s death. You can, of course, leave your house to your children through your will. You should note, however, that some people shy away from using wills to transfer assets as it means heading to probate. Probate is the court monitored process of administering the estate of a decedent. It can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. It can also be expensive when you consider the court costs and legal fees that can apply. Furthermore, probate proceedings are a matter of public record and, thus, estates going through probate are not afforded much privacy.

A living trust, on the other hand, is a way to make sure your children inherit your home that also allows your home to avoid going through probate prior to distribution. To establish a living trust, you, as the grantor, create the trust and appoint a trustee to manage the trust for the benefit of those you designate as trust beneficiaries. With living trusts, many times the grantor of the trust chooses to act as the trustee for his or her lifetime and names a successor trustee to take over upon his or her death. To fund your living trust with your home, you must transfer ownership of your home to the trust itself. Then, upon your death, your named trustee will distribute your home to your children pursuant to the terms set forth in the governing trust document.

Another way that some may consider ensuring that their children inherit ownership of their homes after they die is through joint ownership of the property. This is normally an arrangement between a couple. If you hold a property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, when an owner dies, his or her ownership interest in the property automatically transfers to the surviving owner or owners. There is no need for probate. In Arkansas, each owner, called “joint tenants,” must own an equal share of the property.

Another interesting way to transfer property upon death in Arkansas is through the use of a transfer on death deeds. Not all states allow this, but Arkansas does allow you to leave real estate through transfer on death deeds. They are also sometimes referred to as “beneficiary deeds.” You sign and record the deed while you are living and it will not take effect until you die. Furthermore, you retain the right to revoke the transfer on death deed or to sell the property at any time you wish. This is because the beneficiary you name on the deed does not have any rights until you die.

Estate Planning Attorneys

For a solid estate plan that you can count on to carry out your wishes upon your death, turn to the dedicated estate planning attorneys at Hyden, Miron & Foster. Contact us today.

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