How Should Your Clients Take Title To Their Home?
A Guide for San Diego Realtors
By Kristina R. Hess, San Diego Will, Trust and Estate Attorney and Counselor at Law
I recently spoke to a group of Realtors at Keller Williams in La Jolla, California. Realtors are the first in line to educate their clients/customers on how to properly title the houses they buy. Yet, realtors need to be careful not to give legal advice; thus, it is helpful to have a good trust attorney who can answer client questions.
How about you?
How many times has one of your clients asked you “How should I take title to my new home?”
It’s a question I get all the time as an estate planning attorney. You have the opportunity to make sure that your clients have all the benefits of rightly titled property and they will definitely thank you for it. When John and Sue buy their dream home in Del Mar, make sure they title the home properly.
Why is titling property correctly so important to homeowners?
First, if titled incorrectly, the property owner cannot control what happens to the property after he dies; second, if titled incorrectly, the heirs can lose the property to creditors, the government, or even an ex-spouse; third, if titled incorrectly, the heirs will have to pay capital gain on the sale of the property.
Three Common Ways to Hold Title
The best way for your homeowners to own their property is in a revocable living trust. A properly drafted and funded trust will avoid time consuming, expensive and public probate upon the first death and the second death.
A revocable living trust will make sure that the right people receive the property after the death of both owners and that it doesn’t go to creditors, predators, or future spouses.
Property received by the heirs can be sold free of any capital gain tax and can be protected from creditors and predators of the heirs.
Property owners can avoid paying capital gains tax at the first death if the trust is set up properly. Tax laws are changing all the time, so that is why it is critical to review your estate plan at least every three years!
© 2014 Kristina R. Hess Attorney and Counselor at Law. For informational purposes only and not intended to provide legal advice. I am not your lawyer unless we have a written engagement agreement.
Now you too can book San Diego Will and Trust Attorney, Kristina R. Hess, to speak to your group of realtors. Contact us at 858.461.6844 or online at www.krhess.com.