Do Real Estate Assets Go Through Probate?

If you own any kind of real estate, including a home, you should include these in your will because there is a high chance they will pass through probate. There are some options for keeping real estate outside of your probated estate, such as transfer on death deeds, joint ownership, or trusts. Whether you own primary property or vacation/rental property in Virginia Beach, you need a plan for it.

It is usually less avoidable for valuable possessions. When determining how your beneficiaries could be affected by the transfer of assets, such as real estate, first think about the number of beneficiaries that you intend to name. If you are naming multiple people as beneficiaries to a piece of real estate, you may need to think about titling complications such as titling each of those to beneficiaries separately or having the property sold and the proceeds divided.

Do not forget to think about potential tax and financial implications of passing things on in this way either. Your beneficiaries may have to pay capital gains taxes as part of a possible sale. You can also use tools such as a qualified personal residence trust to protect real estate.

This pulls the property outside of your probate estate and helps to avoid federal estate taxes, which will also allow you to continue to live in the residence for a predetermined period of time. You must outlive the term of the trust, however, to see the tax benefits. You can also name a joint owner on the property now so that it passes directly to the second owner which is allowed via a transfer on death deed.

The property then passes immediately to that person who is usually a spouse outside of probate relatively quickly. Talk to a Virginia Beach, VA estate planning attorney to discuss how to handle planning for your estate.

 

 

The Connection Between Your Estate Plan and Your Real Estate in Virginia

Elegant new villa with backyardMost people don’t like to think about the prospect of estate planning, but it is also a necessity that needs to be dealt with. What will happen to your home when you pass away?The final wishes for a loved can become extremely messy and even controversial with your loved ones if you have not made these necessary decisions well in advance.
Many people may question whether or not you need a will to pass down real estate. You do not necessarily need a will to pass on real estate, but it is still a good planning tool. The intestate statute within your state will automatically pass your assets and your land to your closest relatives along with the laws within your individual state. However, if you wish for the land to stay together and go to a specific person than you need to put together a will.
Aside from specific plans you have about where you want certain property you go, you might also feel strongly about certain beneficiaries not receiving real estate assets.
Without a will, you will be unable to allocate where you want the property to go in lieu of individuals that you do not want to receive it. If you do not plan to have any children and do not currently have any children, you can select siblings, nieces, nephews or a charity as a beneficiary, but make sure that you identify primary and continued beneficiaries.
Want to talk about your property in Virginia and how to plan for it properly? Contact a Virginia Beach law firm today.
 
 

Reverse Mortgages May Lead To Problems For Heirs

While reverse mortgages may seem like a panacea for people in their golden years, caution should be exercised to ensure that not only is something of the estate preserved for heirs but also that debt isn’t passed along, too.

Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgage (Photo credit: aag_photos)

A recent story in The New York Times referred to the potential for baby boomers to face a “bitter inheritance.”
“The same loans that were supposed to help their elderly parents stay in their houses are now pushing their children out,” according to the story by Jessica Silver-Greenberg. “Similar scenes are being played out throughout an aging America, where the children of elderly borrowers are learning that their parents’ reverse mortgages are now threatening their own inheritances. Reverse mortgages, which allow homeowners 62 and older to borrow money against the value of their homes that need not be paid back until they move out or die, have long posed pitfalls for older borrowers.
“Under federal rules, survivors are supposed to be offered the option to settle the loan for a percentage of the full amount. Instead, reverse mortgage companies are increasingly threatening to foreclose unless heirs pay the mortgages in full, according to interviews with more than four dozen housing counselors, state regulators and 25 families whose elderly parents took out reverse mortgages.”
In some instances, The Times found, lenders move for foreclosure scant weeks after the death of the borrowers.
“Reverse mortgage lenders say that they abide by federal rules, noting that their goal is to avert foreclosures, which can be costly and time-consuming,” the story stated. “And used correctly, reverse mortgages can help older homeowners get cash to pay for retirement.
“For heirs, the problem with reverse mortgages often centers on the little-known set of federal regulations administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A spokesman for the agency said it vets participating reverse mortgage firms to spot any possible violations, but did not provide a tally of the participating firms found in violation or of the participating firms that have been penalized. The regulations apply to reverse mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, virtually all of the market.
“Lenders must offer heirs up to 30 days from when the loan becomes due to determine what they want to do with the property, and up to six months to arrange financing. Most important, housing counselors say, is a rule that allows heirs to pay 95 percent of the current fair market value of the property, a price that is determined by an appraiser hired by the lenders.”

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