When it comes to estate planning, real estate is often one of the most important assets to consider. Leaving a property to your loved ones in your will can be a thoughtful and strategic decision.
However, there are important things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition. By familiarizing yourself with what you need to know about passing on real estate, you can write a complete and comprehensive will.
Property ownership details matter
You should provide precise details about the property you intend to pass to your beneficiaries. Include the full address, legal description and any identifying information to avoid any confusion among beneficiaries.
Specify the sharing of property
If you have multiple heirs and want them to share the property equally, make your wishes clear in the will. Specify whether they should sell the property and split the proceeds or if one heir has the option to buy out the others.
Taxes and expenses
Passing on real estate can come with tax implications. Inform your heirs about potential property taxes and any outstanding debts related to the property. Your beneficiaries will need to address these expenses when the property passes to them.
Consideration for minor heirs
If you plan to leave property to minor children or grandchildren, you may need to establish a trust to manage the property until they reach the legal age. This also entails naming a trustee to oversee the trust until your heirs can access it.
One survey shows that as many as 68% of Americans do not have a will. Without a will, the distribution of your belongings can become needlessly complex and your valuable real estate assets might not pass on to your beneficiaries in the way you intended.