Many parents want to create an estate plan in which they transfer the family home to one or more of their children after they die. Real estate transfers can be accomplished through a variety of methods, though some are more commonly employed than others. As a general rule it’s always best to discuss each option in depth with your estate planning attorney before you make your decision, but here are some commonly used methods you might consider.
Last Will and Testament
Every good estate plan has a last will and testament, and you can use that will to transfer any property you wish, including your family home. The primary downside of using a will transfer is that the property will have to pass through probate before the child can become the new owner.
Another common method some people used to transfer the family home between generations is through a trust. There are several different types of trusts you can use to accomplish this task, but unlike a will transfer, a transfer through a trust will not require the involvement of a probate court.
A less common way to transfer ownership to a child is to include that child’s name as a co-owner of the property. When, for example, a parent adds a child as a co-tenant, that child automatically becomes a co-owner of the property. Once the co-owner parent or parents die, the remaining co-owner—the child—becomes the sole owner without the necessity to go through probate.