Putting a house in a living trust

In addition to a will, another important estate planning tool for many people is a living trust, a legal document that outlines how and to whom you would like your assets to be distributed after your death. You can place your assets and property, with some exceptions, into a living trust while you are still alive and continue to retain control over them. Benefits of creating a living trust include avoiding probate, keeping your family’s privacy, and reducing certain tax liabilities.

One question that many people have when it comes to “funding” a trust is can you put a house in a living trust? The answer to that question is “yes,” and there are two main reasons to put a house in a trust.

Perhaps, you want your family to be able to inherit your home without having to go through the probate process. Adding the house to your trust ensures that there will be a seamless transition of the trust’s assets, including the house, to your heirs after your death.

The second reason has to do with planning for incapacity. Your successor trustee is not only responsible for distributing the trust’s assets when you’re gone, but they are also responsible for managing the trust’s assets should you become incapacitated and are unable to do so.

The next question, therefore, is how to do it?

Planning ahead

When creating a living trust, you create a legal vehicle to hold your assets while you are alive and to be distributed as per your wishes when you die. Your heirs and beneficiaries will avoid probate, and it also ensures the family’s privacy. 

Putting a house in a living trust is more complicated than simply changing a name on an account. First, a deed must be prepared transferring the ownership of the house from your name into the name of your trust. In addition, you may need to get other documents from local municipalities and pay fees before you can file or record the transfer document.

Typically, the document(s) will need to be signed in the presence of a notary public. Once all the steps are completed, the deed can then be recorded with the county recorder where the property is held.

While you can do this on your own, any mistakes that are made could complicate the process. Plus, estate and trust laws vary from state to state. Working with an attorney gets you the correct answers to all the legal questions you have about trusts.

San Diego Estate Planning Attorneys

The Law Office of David W. Foley, estate planning attorneys in San Diego, provides a wide range of legal services, including living trust services. We can fill out the new deed for your house, make sure that everything is properly titled, and can also file the deed for you.

Our fees for living trusts are low because we don’t insist on unnecessary meetings; we can communicate with you via phone or email and mail.