I want to leave my house for my daughter when I die and avoid probate.
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
Unlike cash accounts, there is no transfer on death designation. Avoid probate in several ways. You can grant to your daughter an ownership interest in your home by reserving a life estate and granting to her a remainder interest. Second, you could own the property with her as a joint interest. Third, you can place the property in trust. The first two are much cheaper than establishing a trust but have serious drawback. Should the remainderman or joint tenant predecease you, the property will still go through probate. Adding a joint owner to a property also means adding creditors of the joint owner, too. If you wish to sell the property, you must get your daughter’s permission and she will be entitled to a percentage of the proceeds. The trust will allow you to maintain control of your assets and avoid probate. The trust will also dictate how the asset will be held for contingent beneficiaries if your daughter predeceases you. This is important if you have minor grandchildren.
Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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