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Can You Keep Your House Out of Probate Court When You Die?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Estate Planning

Many people invest a significant portion of their income and personal wealth into the homes where they live. Real estate in Hawaii is incredibly valuable, and your home could very well be the cornerstone of the legacy you want to pass to your children or other loved ones when you die.

Your home could provide shelter or significant financial support to your family members after you die. Unfortunately, the transfer of real estate during probate proceedings could take months to complete. The more property you have and the more claims creditors can make against your estate, the longer it may be before your loved ones assume ownership of and control over your home.

Thankfully, you can plan ahead to potentially keep your home out of probate court. There are two tactics that homeowners in Hawaii might employ to protect their real property after they die.

They add the new owner to title now

If you have a live-in romantic partner or a child who caregiver now and will be your primary beneficiary after you die, they can become a partial owner of the property now before you die and then receive your portion of ownership rights after you’ve died.

If you execute a deed to add another person to the title as a joint owner with rights of survivorship, they will be able to assume full ownership of the property after you die without probate court intervention in the transfer process or the risk of creditors making a claim against the home in most cases.

They create a trust

Adding a trust to your estate can offer you multiple benefits. A trust can reduce risk of estate taxes and of challenges in probate court. A trust can also ensure that specific people have access to your real property without necessarily having ownership control over it. You can even arrange to make a charitable gift in the form of your home after your tenants die if that is your legacy desire.

When you change the owner of the property so that your real estate is not solely in your name, you can potentially keep your home out of probate court. Taking the right estate planning steps now will ensure a smoother transfer of your property after you die.

Notice: We are providing this as general information only, and it should not be considered legal advice, which depends on the facts of each specific situation. Receipt of this content does not establish an attorney-client relationship.