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Real Estate Asset Protection

One of the most important assets many people have is their home. Your home is an investment and must be protected. It provides security and stability for loved ones and family members in a way that can’t be put into mere dollars. In developing an estate plan, Real Estate asset protection plays a central role. In any estate plan, you’ll want to take a close look at the property you own, who you would like to inherit it in the event of your death, and how they will take possession of it. There are several considerations in developing an estate plan to protect your real estate assets, as well as several strategies that can ensure the people you intend to benefit from it actually do.

Transferring Real Estate Through A Deed

Transferring property through a deed that grants right of survivorship is an effective way of keeping the property out of probate, as well as protecting it from creditors. Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS) allows multiple tenants to hold property jointly. Each person (or ‘tenant’) listed on the deed has equal access and owns equal shares of the property. In the event one of the tenants dies, their share in the property is equally distributed among the surviving tenants. In the case of property originally conveyed to a husband and wife, they are assumed to own the property as tenants by the entirety, unless the deed specifically states otherwise. Tenants by the entirety have the same survivorship rights as JTWROS, except it is only available to married couples.

Transferring Real Estate Through A Trust

A trust can be an effective way of avoiding probate by transferring property while you are still living. A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) allows you to transfer property to an irrevocable trust in the name of your designated beneficiaries. Unlike a regular trust, a QPRT trust allows you to continue living in the property throughout the term of the trust. A QPRT trust is not only a useful way to ensure your loved ones inherit your property, it can also help to reduce estate and gift taxes. If you choose to transfer ownership through a QPRT trust, it will be important to have the property appraised and to inform the IRS, as transferring property through a QPRT is considered a gift for tax purposes.

Contact Our Attorneys for Help Today

If you or a loved one is considering an estate plan in which real estate property is involved, it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney. At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced estate planning attorneys will help you to take stock of your assets and ensure a smooth transition of your property to your beneficiaries. We can help you to protect your assets from creditors, as well as help your loved ones avoid probate. We’re your neighborhood law firm, with offices in the Bronx as well as Westchester, providing effective legal service in handling all your estate planning needs.

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