How does One Transfer Real Estate into a Trust?
The nature of life itself is such that there are things that can make your brain hurt.
Take the example of a Japanese puzzle box. These tiny boxes made of pliable wood, worked to perfection, are beautiful to look at. However, in order to get to the inside, there is a specific and incredibly intricate puzzle involved.
There are panels to slide, clicks to be heard, and small buttons to be pressed. Miss one step in the order and you’ll have to start over.
Similarly, estate planning in Staten Island can be complicated in the beginning. You assume that signing the papers for a trust is enough for protecting your estate. Once you consult with an estate planning lawyer in Staten Island, you’ll realize there is more to it.
Having the papers proving your estate plan is just that: papers. Albeit, they are expensive papers, but they hold no true value.
So how do you add value to a trust?
The answer is in funding the trust. You fund the trust with whatever estate you have been able to accumulate over the course of your life. Real estate or real property is one of the assets you fund your trust with.
Transferring Property into a Trust
Generally, assets that can be described by an estate planning lawyer in Staten Island can be transferred into the trust. No, this doesn’t refer to the physical description of the property but the legal one.
Most people opt for a revocable trust or a living trust. This allows the creator of the trust to set the terms and remain the trustee to oversee the management of the assets. In New York, this involves creating a deed and then transferring the ownership interest in the trust’s name.
Here are is a simplified explanation of the steps involved in funding a trust with real estate.
- Partner up with an estate planning lawyer in Staten Island – Before you go on getting quitclaim forms, talk to an attorney. Estate planning in Staten Island shouldn’t really be done DIY style. We’ve made a case against it. Even if you think the transfer is simple, an attorney would be able to make the transfer more effective.
- Legal descriptions – This is the part where you provide a deed with the legal descriptions. It should clearly give you the title of the real estate. Missing deeds, split ownership, partial selling or the property, etc., will impact the transfer. Your estate planning lawyer in Staten Island will ensure you possess the right legal description. If that is incorrect, the transfer cannot go through and you may need to take a few more measures to ensure the trust does not go into probate.
- Mortgages – If the real estate has not been paid off, the debt has to go with the property while you are estate planning in Staten Island. However, this can be avoided if you pay it and taxes off with the assets that are mentioned in the trust before the property is transferred out of it. If, on the other hand, the debt remains with the property, the owner should talk to the mortgage holder to discuss refinancing options.
- Put a signature on it – The grantor and trustee’s signatures are crucial in transfers. Make sure you sign the deed and related property transfer forms (such as RP-5217) in front of your estate planning lawyer in Staten Island or a notary.
- Recording the deed – After signing the deed and relevant forms, record the transfer. In New York, a recording fee is charged at the country clerk.
Once the transfer is successful, the trustees that are named in the trust can control the assets. If you have opted for a revocable trust, you can continue adding and removing other properties to the trust if you please.
What about mineral rights?
Some property owners may own interest in minerals, oil or gas. These can also be transferred to a trust, avoiding probate. However, this process is a little more complicated than funding real estate into a trust.
The procedure is somewhat similar, but definitely requires the expertise of an estate planning lawyer in Staten Island to be effectively transferred. There are complex descriptions to understand, along with various factors influencing the task at hand. An attorney will make navigation easier.
Get In Touch With an Attorney
A trust records your last wishes and ensures your assets are distributed according to them. It’s important that it can hold up in court as concrete. Working with an estate planning lawyer in Staten Island strengthens those chances.
They will be able to find something that you missed or did not mention in the deed during the process, which can compromise the trust’s authenticity. Even though the process may seem very simple, it’s not worth risking the chances of protecting your loved ones.