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Estate planning — how to leave your house

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Estate Planning |

You might live in a home that’s been in your family for many generations. Maybe one of your ancestors built it, and you plan on giving it to one of your own children or grandchildren as an inheritance. On the other hand, you might live in a house recently built but are looking toward the future, when your young children are adults and raising families of their own. The question is: What’s the best way to incorporate a house into your estate planning process?

There are numerous ways to leave a house as an inheritance. So that you can make informed decisions, it’s best to seek experienced guidance before executing your plan. What constitutes the best option for one person might not be practical or beneficial to another. Through thorough review of Texas estate planning laws, as well as all options available for bequeathing a house, you can determine which course of action best fits your needs.

Estate planning options to gift your house to someone

The following list provides a basic overview of available estate planning options that enable you to leave your home to someone as an inheritance:

  • Add the person’s name to the deed as a co-owner.
  • List the home as an asset in a last will and testament.
  • Create a revocable trust.
  • Use a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT).
  • Give your house to someone through a transfer on death (TOD) deed.

There are implications to each of these options. For example, if you add your adult child’s name to the deed on your house, you must report it as a taxable gift. The amount of tax the co-owner would pay depends on the fair market value of the home at the time. If you choose to include the house in your will, instead, it becomes an asset that must pass through probate when you die.

Benefits of a revocable trust

One of the options on the list, a revocable trust, is desirable for several reasons. When you create this type of trust (as opposed to an irrevocable one) you can change it at any time providing you are sound of mind and not under duress. Assets placed in trust are not subject to probate. This option might be especially helpful if you own homes in several states and plan to leave each one as an inheritance.

If you’re not sure which option best fits your estate planning goals, you can seek additional support from someone who is well-versed in Georgia estate laws. It’s also wise to periodically review your estate plan to determine if any changes or updates are necessary.