Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Real Property Probate Trap

In previous blog posts I have discussed the benefits of avoiding probate in the State of Nevada.  One of the most common assets to land you in probate is real property.  Real property is generally a probate trap because unlike financial assets, beneficiaries are not commonly named on real property assets.  There are several ways to keep your real property out of probate:

  • Creating a properly funded revocable trust;
  • Recording a beneficiary deed naming beneficiaries to the property; or
  • Holding title to the property in joint-tenancy.
Determining the best option depends on several factors such as the size of the estate, the age and relationship of the beneficiaries and your overall estate planning goals.  It is important to note that there are risks involved with some of the options listed above, such as being subject to liability as a result of owning property in joint-tenancy with someone other than a spouse.

Avoiding probate with real property assets can be easy.  However, avoiding probate generally requires filing the correct documentation with the Recorder’s office in the county in which the property is located.  I often times meet with clients who do not realize that the current titling of their real property could be causing undesired probate consequences for their spouse or beneficiaries.  If you have any questions regarding whether your real property assets may be subject to probate, contact your estate planning attorney to find out more.

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