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Leaving Your “Family Home” to Your Loved Ones
Throughout your life you have worked hard to acquire the house you and your family now call “home” – the home where you raised your kids, lived most of your life and created wonderful memories. So, it is understandable that even when you your kids grow up, move away and create the next chapters of their lives, you find yourself wanting to keep the “family home” in the “family” after you are gone so that those memories continue for the next generation. But, what is the best way to do this?
In Texas, there are different ways to accomplish this, but you should consult with an estate planning attorney to understand the pros and cons of each way to determine what is right for your family. For example, a great way to pass on that valuable “home” to your family is by gifting it so that at your death it will automatically pass to your child or children without the need for probate via a Lady Bird Deed or a Transfer on Death Deed. However, both have good consequences as well as bad consequences. On the other hand, if you are wanting to leave your interest in your home to your spouse without the need for probate, the Texas Estates Code has a vehicle to do so even better than the previously mentioned deeds. This is done by a survivorship agreement and deed and can pass your interest without probate and without the cons of the other deeds. Either way, passing your home to your loved ones can provide them with a financial cushion if they need to sell it or a place to call their own if they so choose.
However, there are important drawbacks to consider. For example, if your kids inherit the house, they'll also inherit any outstanding mortgage or debts attached to it; they'll be responsible for ongoing property taxes, maintenance costs, and other expenses associated with homeownership. Additionally, if you have multiple children, deciding to pass the house to only one child could cause tension and conflict among your family members. This is especially true in cases of blended families where stepchildren do not benefit from the same legal rights as their biological counterparts.
Ultimately, the decision to leave real estate to your family is a personal one that should be based on your unique circumstances. It's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider how your decision will affect your loved ones in the long run.
Unsure what to do with any of your assets in your estate plan? Don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Firm of Blanche D. Smith to ensure you are making a fully-informed decision. Call us today at (936) 301-0111 or fill out the form below.