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How To Transfer Real Estate Through Your Estate Plan

Last updated on: October 25, 2023

Estate planning is your means to plan for your future today. And you can do so with a New Jersey estate planning attorney to advise you throughout the process. By preparing now, you will enter into future conversations with your lawyer with the beginnings of a plan. It can be shaped and protected as needed, but the basis will—and will always be—your wishes. 

When you review your assets and decide who will receive them, you may pause when you get to your home. Why? Your home is not only your most valuable asset, but it is the source of a lot of memories. By giving it to one person, are you going to cause a rift with someone else? These are the exact things you are trying to avoid by estate planning early. 

For guidance on estate planning in New Jersey, contact The Matus Law Group today at (732) 281-0060 to schedule a consultation. Your future and your legacy are important, and we are here to help you avoid common estate planning mistakes and make the right decisions.

How To Plan For Including A Home In Your Estate Plan

If you have decided what you want to do with your home, tell your family. At least, make your plans known. They may voice ideas or concerns that you hadn’t already thought of. For example, if you had decided to leave your home to one of your children, that child may not be in a position to take on that responsibility. Perhaps they have plans on moving away. 

Another issue that may arise is that you could tell your children that you want the home to stay in the family. Some family members might prefer to sell the family home. These are difficult conversations to have, but this is the exact reason for having them.

The Cost Of Ownership

Before you decide who will receive your house, figure out how much it will cost the recipient. Most people assume that you simply pick up the mortgage payment when you receive someone’s house. But that may not be the case. Take a look at your mortgage and see if there is a “due on sale” clause in it. 

When you sell your home, whatever is owed on your mortgage gets paid off. Depending on your mortgage, this may happen if you pass away. If those are the conditions, who will be in a financial position to handle your mortgage? And does this alter your plans if you want your home to stay in the family and not go up for sale?

Options For You

Ask your attorneys about the possibility of either creating a will or a revocable trust. These are two different documents that function uniquely. Anything you put into a will becomes an asset that will pass through probate

Older people may opt to use a revocable trust. By using a revocable trust, you can continue to use and own your home. However, you choose a trustee who will take over your assets. After you pass away, the trustee distributes your assets based on your wishes. 

Whether you plan on amending your estate plan or developing one, contact The Matus Law Group. There are financial and legal implications associated with the assets you put in an estate plan. We can take your wishes and put together a strategy that fits your unique situation. 

Transfer On Death Deed

A Transfer-on-Death Deed, often referred to as a TOD Deed or beneficiary deed, presents a streamlined solution for property owners. This legal instrument enables the smooth transfer of property to a designated beneficiary upon the property owner’s death, avoiding the expensive, time-consuming, and frequently stressful probate process. This not only facilitates the efficient handling of the property owner’s assets by the executor but also establishes an effective means to ensure that your property or real estate goes to the beneficiary of your choice.

The beneficiary may be an individual or an organization, such as a charitable institution. Additionally, a contingent or alternate beneficiary can be designated in the event the primary beneficiary predeceases the property owner. Most importantly, the beneficiary does not gain access to the assets until the property owner’s death.

Property owners can effortlessly establish a TOD Deed by transferring real estate from solely the owner’s name to the designated beneficiary’s name with a TOD designation. The property remains under the owner’s ownership, and they retain control over it until their passing. At that point, the deed automatically transitions to the beneficiary’s name.

While the property owner is alive, they retain full rights to refinance, sell, rent out, or engage in any other property-related activities as they see fit. The property remains in their possession during their lifetime, and only upon their death does their beneficiary come into possession. Moreover, TOD Deeds are revocable, allowing the property owner to modify or revoke them at their discretion.

Secure your family’s financial future with the assistance of a New Jersey estate planning attorney. At The Matus Law Group, our attorneys can navigate the complexities of a transfer-on-death deed and help you craft these essential documents to ensure full compliance with New Jersey’s legal requirements. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward efficient estate planning.

Considerations for Including Your Home in Your Estate Plan Description
Discuss Plans with Family Share your intentions regarding your home with your family to address concerns and gather their input.
Assess the Cost of Ownership Determine the financial responsibilities associated with the home, including mortgages and “due on sale” clauses.
Explore Estate Planning Options Consult with attorneys to explore options such as wills and revocable trusts for transferring home ownership.

Christine Matus

Christine Matus
Christine Matus

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