Real estate is one of the most valuable assets in New York, with a proven track record of appreciation over time. However, your property is more than just an asset; it is a home for your family with invaluable memories and sentimental value. Having a well-thought estate plan is the best way to ensure that your property passes to the right people and in the most tax-efficient manner possible after you are gone. This will save potential hassles for your family in sorting out your affairs, as well as make sure that everyone involved can benefit from an orderly process.
Co-own the house as joint tenants
Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship is an arrangement that allows two or more people to own a property together. When one of the owners passes away, the remaining owner(s) automatically has the right to take ownership of the entire property. This is an effective way to pass your house on without probate as long as you and the other joint tenants are alive when you create the arrangement.
Create a last will and testament
A last will and testament is a legal document conveying your wishes after death with regard to how you want your executor to divide your assets among your loved ones. You can also address your real estate in your will, specifying who should receive it upon death. It’s important to make sure that you draft this document correctly so that it holds up in court.
Set up a trust
Creating a trust is another estate planning tool that will keep your loved ones out of probate court. With a trust, you can determine who will receive the property and when they will receive it. You can also specify conditions they must meet before the transfer of ownership takes place. There are many types you can choose depending on your specific circumstances and desires.
No matter what kind of estate plan you choose, it’s important to make sure that you properly file and update all paperwork as needed over time. This will prevent the court from invalidating your plans.