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How can you fairly handle your home in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2022 | Trusts

You may have fallen in love with your home the moment you first toured it, or you may already be the third generation of your family to own this particular property. Either way, you may view your home as your most valuable possession and also have a significant emotional attachment to the home.

Obviously, you would like to pass your home’s equity to your children, and you may even dream of the next generation or two of your family living in the same home. Unfortunately, your real estate in Herndon or Oak Hill can often make estate planning a bit more of a challenge.

How can you handle your real property in a way that works for your children and results in a fair division of your property?

Consider moving the property to a trust

Real estate owned in your name will have to go through probate court when you die, which can significantly delay how long it takes for a transfer to take place. It will also usually become the property or just one person unless you name multiple heirs as co-owners.

When the property is in a trust, you can grant multiple people possession rights without giving them ownership control. You can also protect your family against estate taxes and creditor claims against the home. Everyone can have equal access or the same share of the property’s value if the trustee sells the home.

Consider extending the right of first refusal

If you have more than one family member and none of them has expressed a specific interest in owning your home, you may want to consider integrating the right of first refusal into your estate plan. Your children or other descendants can use that right to make an offer on the property during estate administration without depriving others of an inheritance.

You leave instructions for the representative of the estate to sell the property. When they do, they should give first consideration to family members who have the first right of refusal. Provided that they make a fair market value offer, your loved ones can potentially purchase your home from the estate. This kind of arrangement ensures that all beneficiaries receive their fair share from your estate rather than one person receiving the home and everyone else receiving far less valuable property.

Reston residents and others living nearby will find that thinking of ways to handle their most valuable possessions will make creating a functional and effective estate plan easier.