If you have built up a real estate portfolio or have a home that you would like to pass on to your beneficiaries, now is the time to look at how you can protect that real estate in your estate plan. One of the better ways to do this is by placing your home into a trust. Real estate trusts help you establish whom you’d like to receive your property upon your death and may prevent your real estate holdings from being taken by creditors or others when they seek payment for debts.
Not all real estate trusts are the same, but at their core, they are designed to pass on your assets to the correct beneficiaries without having to go through probate. Living trusts allow you to pass on ownership while you’re alive. More commonly, people elect to use trusts that pass on property once they die.
Why use a trust instead of a will to pass on your property?
You should use a trust instead of a will to pass on your property because of the extra protections that a trust provides. Your trust likely will not need to go through probate, is private and is designed to handle costlier, more valuable assets.
Should you choose a revocable or irrevocable real estate trust?
A revocable trust is one that you can change or cancel at any time. Irrevocable trusts can’t be altered in the future, so your decisions now will need to be firm. You might consider having an irrevocable trust if you’re dealing with a life-threatening or terminal illness, for example, and know that you want to pass on the property to a certain person. You’ll no longer own your property once you do this.
Find out more about protecting your assets
It’s beneficial to talk to someone about trusts and how they could help you reduce your taxable estate and protect your investments. Setting up a real estate trust is just one option to consider. There are also other opportunities to protect and pass on your investments that you may want to discuss as you work on your estate plan.