According to the National Association of Realtors, the pandemic has brought on an unprecedented amount of home sales in Texas and throughout the United States. As home sales increased, mortgage rates hit record lows, encouraging quarantined home buyers to jump-start their searches. Those who have bought or sold a home during this time should contact a Houston estate planning attorney to discuss their financial future.
Estate planning is a critical process that allows individuals to protect their assets, businesses, and loved ones. Although many people erroneously believe that estate plans are reserved for older wealthy individuals, that can not be farther from reality. The modernization of estate planning makes it an accessible and necessary way for people to safeguard their interests.
Developing a binding and effective estate plan will ensure that a person’s home goes where they want it to go after they pass on. One way to meet these goals is by placing a home in a trust. Estate planning laws do not require homeowners to own their home outright to transfer it to a revocable trust. Transferring a home into a trust allows family members to avoid going through a complex and lengthy probate process. There are many options on how best to do this, depending on the homeowner’s specific situation.
Homeowners who are free and clear of mortgage liabilities should discuss how a Transfer on Death Deed or Lady Bird Deed may be the best practice for transferring property after death.
Those who already maintain an effective trust should still review their plans every few years. A review entails looking at the specific provisions of the trust to confirm that they are still accurate and reflect their current wishes. For example, individuals want to ensure that the correct home is listed in the trust and not one they previously owned and later sold.
Moreover, most people have a mortgage on their home, and some of these agreements include a “due on sale” provision. This clause means that if an owner terminates ownership, they must immediately pay back any proceeds to the lender. However, one can avoid this issue by putting their home into a revocable trust. This allows for a seamless transition of ownership to a beneficiary. Further, homeowners can set up life insurance policies to alleviate the financial burden off of their beneficiaries. A legally sound and binding estate plan provides family members with less strife and contention. A clear designation removes a great deal of pressure between those who may feel that they have a right to the home.
Schedule a consultation with a Houston Estate Planning Lawyer
An experienced Houston estate planning attorney at McCulloch Miller, PLLC, can provide you with legal assistance in creating your estate plans. Our office takes a comprehensive approach to creating and effectuating estate plans on behalf of our clients. We have a long history of advocating on behalf of individuals, aging adults, and their families. Our law firm provides representation for a variety of elder law and estate planning matters. We handle all types of estate planning matters, including those involving asset protection, business succession, special needs planning, charitable giving, and probate and estate administration. Contact our office at 713-333-8900 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney on our legal team.