Community Property Versus Title In Joint Tenancy
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
REM # LAW 727
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: A ThinkGlink reader has inherited
her father's property and would like to make sure the property is passed down
to her son. Ilyce and Sam suggest a living trust that would transfer title to
the child upon her death
Q: I am the successor trustee on my father’s property. He recently passed
away. I am a married woman and have a 12-year old son from a previous marriage.
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From my understanding, holding title with my husband as community property
versus holding title in joint tenancy may be the best choice so I can leave
the house to my son someday. Am I on the right track?
A: Our condolences on the recent loss of your father.
If your goal is to leave your father’s property to your son without your
current husband having a claim to the home, you’ll need to sit down with
an estate planning attorney.
He or she may recommend that you place your father’s property in a living
trust that would transfer title to your child upon your death. You would select
a trustee to administer the trust after your death, but the beneficiary/owner
of the property would be your son.
If your current husband is on the title to your father’s property, he
will still be a part owner of the home when you die. If he isn’t on the
title to the property and you die without a will, he will inherit a part of
the home. Finally, if you do have a will, he could contest the will.
The estate planning attorney can help you explore your options and plan for
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce
R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your
Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for
them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022
or contact them through Ilyce’s website www.thinkglink.com