Articles Tagged with Community Property

12.6.19There are different types of property. What we informally call real estate, is known in the law as “real property.” That includes any property that is made of land and any structure that sits on it. That also can include assets that appear on that piece of land, like crops, water, livestock or other natural resources.

The ownership of real estate takes several different forms, and each has different requirements for transferring ownership, obtaining financing, paying taxes and collateralization. How the property is owned is based on its title, which is used to convey ownership.

Investopedia’s recent article, “5 Common Methods of Holding Real Property Title,” explains that each title method has its pros and cons, depending on a person's specific situation and how they want ownership to pass after death, divorce, or sale. The most common of these methods of title holding are joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenants by entirety, sole ownership and community property.

11.20.19Many instances of estate planning disasters start when well-meaning people try to use a simple solution for what is ultimately a complicated problem. It’s better for all concerned to meet with an estate planning attorney who can present strategies that will achieve goals, rather than attempt a do-it-yourself plan that creates more problems than it solves.

In one example of a do-it-yourself estate plan, a husband decides to use his inheritance to purchase the family home. His wife signs a quitclaim deed to him that puts the property into his living trust, on the condition that if he dies before she does, she is allowed to live in the home until death.

However, the living trust was never signed. So, what would happen to the property if the husband were to die before the wife?

8.14.19One of the reasons for a pre-nuptial agreement, is to clarify who owns what in the marriage, and what happens to property if the marriage should dissolve. In a community property state, everything is “ours.”

If you live in a community property state, like Texas, and you are married, both spouses own and have an equal right to assets, which are considered marital property. The issue is explored in nj.com’s recent article, “Does this house really become community property after marriage?”

Let’s imagine you own a home before your second marriage and created a will leaving the condo to a child. However, you sold the home and purchased another house in your name using funds from the sale and your own funds.

6.7.19Asset titling is the sticking point, where many estate plans fail. The best plan can be undone, if assets are not retitled or accounts are not funded.

Retitling assets means just that—changing the name of the asset, whether it’s a deed to a home or a name of an insurance policy. If assets are not retitled to conform to the estate plan, they won’t be protected or won’t be distributed as you and your estate attorney had planned.

Forbes’ recent article, “For Estate Plan To Work As Intended, Assets Must Be Properly Titled” notes that with the exception of the choice of potential guardians for children, the most important function of a will is to make certain that the transfer of assets to beneficiaries is the way you intended.

Couple moving"During their careers, their 'acquiring wealth years,' many people live in places that have lots of jobs – and the higher cost of living that goes along with that," Friedman says. "In retirement, many of them want to move to a state where they can enjoy the same or an even better lifestyle with less money. For that, it's essential to consider not only the cost of living but the state laws that affect your accumulated wealth and income."

Pre-retirees need to consider a lot more than snow days and tradition, according to a 2014 Bankrate report and a recent Investor Ideas article titled "3 Tips for Retiring Out of State."

States have different tax laws and other regulations that can significantly affect your retirement funds. Be aware of these as you plan for where you want to live and how you want to live.

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