Preparing for the death of a loved one is difficult emotionally and mentally, and there are actual physical and financial challenges that may make it even harder. If a loved one dies without a will or estate plan, it can be extremely difficult to get financial affairs in order, and this often causes fights and backlash between family members. If a home is not included in a will, it may fall to the next of kin to go through possessions and get the house ready to sell, which can be a huge job. Then it must be determined who pays the taxes and realtor fees, and who inherits the money made from the house. This can be a difficult time for everyone, and it is almost always made easier when the parent is financially and legally prepared to transfer ownership to children or next of kin.
There are several ways a home can be transferred successfully to children when a parent dies. As a home is your most valuable asset, it should be placed at the top of your priority list when it comes to a will or estate plan.
Your will should include your home
If you want to have a hands-on approach to where your assets go after you die, a will is the best way to do so. A will is a legally binding document that allows you to name one or multiple persons as a beneficiary. When you pass, all your assets go through probate, a process that seamlessly transfers all your belongings and assets to the right beneficiary. Before things are divided out, any debts you have must be paid.
You can designate more than one person to inherit your home, which gives them the power to decide whether to sell it or keep it. If they disagree with what to do with the home, a rift may be caused, so you may want to specify in your will what you would like them to do.
Place your home in a living trust
Create a living trust before you pass away that allows you to manage your assets, and when you pass, the control is passed to the beneficiaries you choose. If your home is placed in a living trust, it does not have to go through probate before it is transferred to your beneficiary, although outstanding debts must still be paid.
If you have extensive assets or are concerned about what will happen to your home after you die, you should speak to an attorney immediately to minimize trouble.