Although no one wants to think about their own death, it is a fact of life. Many people think estate planning and wills are only necessary for those with money. However, regardless of your financial situation, you have possessions that will need to be dispersed to friends and family when you are gone. Small personal items can be easily left to people as long as there is a list of who you want to get what, but what about your home? If you own your home, you need to consider who will take it after you and the best way to transfer the property to them. Here are a few options for making sure your home goes to the person you want it to go to.
Transfer on Death
If you are the sole owner of the property, you can use a transfer on death deed to give the property to whomever you want. It is the same type of deed you received when you initially bought the property with one difference: The transfer does not take place until after you pass away. As soon as you die, the property automatically becomes the property of the person listed on the deed. There is no need for probate or the reading of a will; it just happens.
Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
When you own the property with someone else - usually a spouse or domestic partner - you should make sure that the deed and paperwork for the property list the ownership as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This means that you both own the property as long as you both live; however, if one of you passes away, the survivor becomes a sole owner. While probate will not be necessary, there will be some paperwork needed to change the deed to sole ownership.
Tenancy in Common
If you and your siblings inherited a property from your parents, you probably own the land as tenants in common. This means you each have an equal amount of say in everything pertaining to the place. You can each have your own beneficiary for the property when you pass. Probate may be necessary if the owners cannot agree on how to handle the property or if it is sold.
No matter what type of home it is, if you own it, you need to plan for who will own it after you are gone. Realistically, you should make arrangements for the place as soon as you have the deed in your name. This way, things are already handled, and you won't have to worry about it later on.
Visit a site like http://valentineandvalentine.com for more information about estate planning.