Buying real estate involves some legal decisions, and one of those legal issues is how to hold title. How you hold title to your home or land is an estate planning decision. I used to do estate planning as an attorney for my real estate clients, and during my legal career to be sure that I was giving my clients good and competent advice, I became a Certified Estate Planner and a Registered Financial Adviser (including a series 7 license and life insurance and long term care). Here I will share briefly how you might hold title when buying real estate.
Buying Real Estate
Buying Real Estate and Estate Planning
Married couples typically purchase their real estate simply as husband and wife. In Washington that means you will hold title as “joint tenants with the right of survivorship.” That means that if or when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse owns the property. But buying real estate also means thinking about estate planning tools like a revocable living trust. This is a trust that allows you to bypass probate and with the use of a trustee you appoint in the document, you can be sure that your property will be transferred to your beneficiary without legal delay and without lawyers.
There are other estate planning tools, and if you have a lot of assets and income, you will probably want to do more exotic estate planning than the average Joe.
Buying Real Estate and Business
If you own a very successful and profitable business, you definitely want to do some estate planning to shield your personal wealth from business liabilities, and that may involve revocable as well as irrevocable trusts and other business entities, such as LLCs, corporations (sub chapter S or C), and partnerships. Buying real estate is no small matter when it comes to tax planning, business planning, and estate planning. Read also Real Estate and Estate Planning.
I am retired from real estate law practice, but as your buyer’s agent, I will be diligent to give you good counsel when buying real estate in Sequim or Port Angeles.
Last Updated on September 21, 2018 by Chuck Marunde
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