Our homes and pieces of real estate property are among the most important assets that we will ever own over the course of a lifetime. But then we come to the question of what to do with that real estate in the event of our deaths? For those of us with family and loved ones, naturally, we may wish to leave behind our property so that we know that not only is the land taken care of, but so are our family members who may be in need of a better place to live or perhaps a financial sum which could come from the sale of the real estate.
Alternatively, if the real estate is a family home that’s been passed down through generations, it would make sense to make sure that it goes to the right people after death to better ensure that the property remains with the family for as long as possible.
There are many options available in estate plans for those looking to pass real estate on to their beneficiaries, including wills, trusts, and gifting the property.
Is the Real Estate Included in Your Will or Trust?
The most common way to pass on real estate is by placing the property into your valid Last Will and Testament and naming your intended beneficiary. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can better make sure that your will is properly constructed so that your wishes are followed.
You could also put the real estate into a trust, which can act as an alternative to a will in many ways.
What if There is No Will?
If there is no will and no named executor or beneficiary, your real estate could be fought over in probate court. Conflict could arise between surviving heirs.
With no will or trust, there is no guarantee that your property will go to who you intend.
Have You Considered Gifting a Property to a Loved One?
Like other assets, it may be possible to pass on your property as a gift to your desired heir before or after death. This could help you avoid estate taxes and probate court.
It is also possible to gift property to multiple people in the form of joint ownership.
Does New York Allow for a Transfer-On-Death Deed for Real Estate?
New York does not allow for the transfer of real estate property or vehicles through the use of a transfer-on-death deed.
The state does allow for the transferring of stocks and bonds with a transfer-on-death deed, however.