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Transferring a home to heirs while still alive can have benefits

With the increase in Baby Boomers in Washington and across the country, working out an estate plan is becoming more and more important. For many people, their house is their most valuable asset, meaning that it can play an important role in estate planning. Leaving a home to an heir before passing away can bring benefits for both parties.

Creating a plan for what happens to the family home after a person dies is an important estate planning matter. One way for a person to transfer their home to their heirs is by creating a trust. Setting up a trust to handle the family home can be a good way to avoid probate and lower costs. Distributing assets after a person has died is also easier and quicker. Another way to transfer a property is to gift it to an heir while still alive. This can also help an elderly person qualify for Medicaid, which can help provide long-term skilled nursing care. Before taking these steps, though, it is important to know whether one's heirs actually want the house.

A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help a family set up mechanisms by which a family house can be transferred. An attorney understands all of the legal options a family may have in Washington, and they can therefore be an invaluable resource for a family who is working on planning ahead and making sure they are ready for what is inevitably to come. Good planning can help a family feel at peace in their decisions and know that their wishes will be honored upon their death.

A home is often a person's most valuable asset. It can be a wonderful asset to pass to the next generation, and there are several legal ways to make this easier. Using an estate plan to accomplish the important task of asset distribution is a great way to help avoid excessive estate taxes and leave treasured assets in a simple and less stressful manner.

Source: The New York Times, "Estate planning: Leaving a home to heirs while you're still alive", Kaya Laterman, Aug. 25, 2017

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