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Creating a living trust for the family home

Often, trusts are associated with significant assets, so people in Ohio who do not have financial wealth may think that their best estate planning option is a simple will. However, if they own a home, a living trust may be an excellent idea. 

Rather than thinking of the trust as a way of bequeathing assets without going through probate, people should consider that it is actually a form of ownership. The American Bar Association explains that a couple could create the trust and name one or more trustees, then transfer the deed of the real estate to the trust. The responsibilities of taking care of the property would then be in the hands of the trustees, who may be the original property owners.

The couple would name beneficiaries as well as trustees. Essentially, the trustees would be managing the property for those designated to receive the property upon the death of the creators of the trust. If the husband and wife are co-trustees, and one of them becomes incapacitated, the other would still be able to fulfill the responsibilities. Because the trust is revocable, if one spouse needed to sell or refinance the home to raise money for long-term care or medical expenses for the other spouse, he or she would have the authority to do so.

SFGate.com points out that there are a few circumstances that may require further legal consideration. For example, the company that holds the mortgage or the title insurance company may raise conditions for placing the home in a trust, particularly if there are other assets to be placed in it, as well. Life changes such as divorce or remarriage may also create challenges.

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