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Who will get my house when I pass away?

Older adults have a lot on their minds, from preparing for retirement to getting their affairs in order. Determining who will get the house when they pass away is a major concern for many retiring adults. Generally, there are two possible estate planning options: sell the house and leave the proceeds to your heirs, or deed the house to one of the children before you pass away.

Moving to a new place is not an option for many people, so it is likely best to leave your house and other assets to your loved ones in a will or trust, depending on your particular situation. Simple wills are often best for families that get along and can agree on what to do with family assets. The executor of the will should live in the state where the house is located to make the process easier.

While wills can be easy to manage, there are some drawbacks. For example, when you use a will, five to 15 percent of the estate value goes toward legal fees and probate. Also, your family may end up fighting over whether to keep the house or sell it and keep the proceeds.

To avoid some of these issues, you may want to set up a trust to simplify the transfer of your property. Trusts have lower fees and ensure that only your named beneficiaries gain access to the house. Also, trusts allow your beneficiaries to avoid the probate process altogether, which will speed up the transfer. In order to set up a revocable or irrevocable trust, talk to an estate planning attorney in Arizona as soon as possible.

Source: The New York Times, “Estate Planning: Leaving a Home to Heirs While You’re Still Alive,” Kaya Laterman, Aug. 25, 2017