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How to incorporate real estate into your estate plan

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Estate Planning

You have been fortunate and worked hard to get where you are today, and your estate has grown beyond what you imagined. You have several properties, and you have land that you want to preserve for your family’s future.

If you’re working on your estate plan, finding a way to protect those properties is essential. Fortunately, there are options that you can use, such as a joint tenancy or irrevocable trust, which will help protect your property and your beneficiaries’ inheritances.

What happens to real estate when you die?

When you die, several things can happen to your real estate. If you have a joint tenancy or more than one person on the mortgage, then that property may pass to the other party. If you have no will, then the intestate statute will pass it on to your next closest relative by law or follow other intestate guidelines at the time of your death.

If you want your real estate to go to someone specific, then it’s a good idea to put your will together and to add those wishes to it. You can place that real estate into a trust, such as a revocable or irrevocable trust, or you can use other methods to pass on those properties.

Why is it important to address your real estate in your will and estate plan?

By addressing your property in your will and estate plan, you can reduce the likelihood of that property going to a beneficiary or heir that you didn’t intend to receive it. Additionally, by planning early, you can make sure that your estate’s value is minimized, which may help you avoid estate taxes. For example, if you add your real estate to an irrevocable trust, then that property won’t be included in the overall value of your estate for the purposes of estate taxes. This can save your heirs thousands of dollars, if not more.

Your attorney can go over a few different options for transferring property prior to death or at death with you. That way, you can select the method that makes the most sense for you and your beneficiaries.