One of the most crucial parts of structuring your estate plan is deciding the form of ownership. The reason for this is the type of title affects many factors associated with your property, such as the transferability of interests.

Here’s a primer on some methods you can use if you want to title your house in your estate plan. Most of these options avoid probate and grant an automatic transfer upon the owner’s passing.

Revocable Trust

Titling your house with a revocable trust offers several benefits, the biggest of which is the protection it provides for your estate. This type of title gives you total control over your property during your lifetime. It also doesn’t require probate, which is why lawyers consider it one of the best arrangements for estate planning.

Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship

Using the joint tenancy with right of survivorship approach automatically transfers ownership upon the death of one of the title holders. The title passes to the survivor upon the death of the other owning party. One example: in a marriage arrangement, if one spouse dies, all their jointly titled assets go to the other. Like the revocable trust, the jointly titled assets also avoid probate.

For real property, where probate is not otherwise required, the survivor must complete and file with the Register of Wills an Affidavit of Jointly Held Real Property in the county where the real property is owned to give notice about one joint tenant’s death as well as the survivorship of the other tenant. This will cause the county to update the ownership records regarding the property.

Tenancy in Common

When two or more individuals prefer to keep their respective titles separate upon death, they can opt to use Tenancy in Common. This arrangement provides an undivided interest in the entire property, which owners can buy or sell. It also entitles a co-title owner to the right to use the whole property.

One drawback to ownership as tenants in common is the complex system of usage, control, and management. This intricacy is especially evident if more than two people are involved in the process.

Work With a Trusted Lawyer for a Well-Structured Estate Plan

Reach out to Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea and talk to us if you need help with your property transfer. Veteran lawyers in our roster can guide you throughout your process, allowing you to create a comprehensive estate plan. Aside from assisting with ownership titles, we also provide services for other legal practice areas, such as personal injury, civil litigation, and business and corporate law.