Many people wish to avoid probate at all costs. Probate can be very expensive, time-consuming and the public nature of it is off putting for most. However, some strategies for avoiding probate are more problematic than not.
For instance, if you are going through the process of estate planning you might believe that adding one of your adult children to your deed is a good way of avoiding probate. While doing this can help you avoid probate, it can often cause a variety of other problems. According to InCharge Debt Solutions, putting an adult child on your deed could potentially lead to you losing the property.
How can this help me avoid probate?
People who use this stratagem are relying on joint tenancy. The key is that joint tenancy involves the right of survivorship. This means that if one owner of the property dies, the other owner will fully take over the property without involving probate.
Why is this a bad idea?
Putting an individual on your deed automatically makes them an equal owner of the property. This means that any financial liens or other issues that your child encounters will involve your property.
For example, if your child marries and then divorces, it is possible that the courts will consider your home part of your child’s marital assets if his/her name is on the deed. This means that if your child divorces, you may end up with your child’s ex-spouse as a partial owner of your property.
A better plan to avoid probate is to put your house in a revocable trust. This will help your heirs avoid probate and also prevent your child’s financial issues from interfering with your property.