Your Options for Real Estate Title-Holding
If you are a Thousand Oaks homeowner, then chances are that you have a title for your property. There are a variety of different ways to hold a real estate title, and all of them have implications for the future. Normally, the way that your title is held will depict how your property is divided upon your passing. Sometimes, the way that a title is held will even surpass the wishes in your will, so you will want to make sure that you hold your title in a way that is effective for your personal plans.
If you should choose, you can hold a title in your individual name. This means that you will be the sole owner of the property that you occupy. You can even make this arrangement if you are married or have children. There are a few drawbacks to this arrangement. For example, if you become mentally or physically incapacitated but are the sole owner of your property, then the court will need to appoint someone to act for you. This may not be the person that you would have wanted to manage your property. Chances are that if your property needs to be refinanced, or a line of credit needs to be opened, this court-appointed individual will be in charge of getting these jobs done.
A will only goes into effect after you pass away, so if you are incapacitated and are the sole homeowner of a property, then that will won't help you. Also, most powers of attorney end at incapacity, so this document may not help you. A durable power of attorney is valid in the event of incapacity, but many financial institutions won't even accept your durable power of attorney unless it is on their form. Also, this document could give the person you listed the ability to do whatever he or she wants with your assets. That means that you're appointed property manager could sell the property and spend the proceeds.
If you pass away and are the only titleholder for a piece of property, then the property will almost certainly have to go through the probate court system before it can be distributed to your heirs. This can be frustrating for heirs, as they will have to go through a legal process to strip your name off of the title and add the new owner's name onto the title.
There are also options which allow for multiple names on a real estate title. For example, you can create a joint tenants with right of survivorship title. This is how most married couples hold a title because it means that the spouse will inherit the property in the event that one partner passes away. This normally postpones probate, because the children or survivors won't be able to divide the property until both spouses pass away. One thing to consider is that when adding a co-owner, you will lose control. This means that if you and your spouse or partner disagree on property issues, you could end up in court.
Some people decide to hold real estate titles in a tenants-in-common arrangement. This is an ownership where each owner's share will be distributed as directed in his or her will. If there is no will, then the property will go to the owner's rightful heirs through a court process. In nine states, there is also an option to hold real estate by community property. This is an arrangement that is specifically for spouses. California is one of the states that honor this arrangement, saying that spouses give up their sole right to property when they get married.
Another option is a tenants-by-entirety arrangement. This is a form of joint ownership which is available between spouses in some states. This is similar to a community property arrangement because the spouse automatically inherits the property when a husband or wife passes away. Some property owners also explore the option of a revocable living trust. This allows you to transfer the title of your real estate to the trustee of your trust but still maintain full control of your property.
If you want to learn more about any of the above real estate arrangements, you are going to want a Thousand Oaks estate planning lawyer on your side. With the right attorney there to assist you, you can trust that you have a team to guide you through your decisions. You can work to keep your loved ones out of court with this law firm that is committed to excellence. Hire the Pederson Law Offices to help you work through your case today!