Lou Lawyers
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By the Book

5 Benefits of Titling Property in Trust (But you Gotta Have One First!)

  1. Tax Benefits - Double Stepped-up Basis - If the trust is between a married couple, the owners will be afforded the same tax benefits as as being held in community property with right of survivorship.

  2. Give it  to Who You Want - You can specify exactly how you want to leave your property upon your death in the Trust.

  3. Choose Who Will Be in Charge - As the creator of your trust, you will also manage the trust (as trustee). However, when you can no longer manage your affairs (incapacitation or death), you will have chosen the next in line to help manage and distribute your property exactly as you wish.

  4. None of Your Business! - You can do all this privately - The trust does not need to be recorded or made public at your death.

  5. Avoid the Courts (no Probate, thank you very much!) - Your property (estate) at your death will be handled outside of court by the person you have chosen to handle it.

Stephen’s Insight ™ #2 – Check your current deed and see how it’s titled. If you and your spouse bought the property before 2001, chances are it was titled as Joint Tenants with right of survivorship. If so, you might not be getting the full benefits of the law change since then. Most likely you will want to retitle it as Community Property with Right of Survivorship or better yet have it in your trust (See Benefits #1 in previous post).