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Living trust or being added to title

Socalx09

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I need some guidance on whether it’s more beneficial to be added on title or just continue doing a living trust.

My dad’s health isn’t great and we have started the process of doing a living trust for his house in Corona. I was going to file the trust on my own since I believe I filled out the form correctly I found online that other people have used to self file. Since I am his only child and he isn’t married, I didn’t think this would be an issue until I learned about probate. My dad still just wants to add me to the title, but I have been reading about tax laws and that would be considered a gift which would be over the yearly limit? Also, same issue with the havasu house. It’s a family house, but under my uncle’s name. He also isn’t in the greatest health and wants me to do a trust or get added on the title there as well. Both homes still have mortgages.

Checking to see if any members on here know more about this process.

Thanks!
 

8dayz

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Look into a TOD. It’s a transfer on death dead. Super easy to do if you are eligible.
 

lakemadness

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If you're potentially working with a decent amount of equity/cash which I assume you are since its a house, do yourself a favor and pay a professional. It will be cheap insurance and might even pay for itself.
 
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LuauLounge

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If you're potentially working with a decent amount of equity/cash which I assume you are since its a house, do yourself a favor and pay a proffesional. It will be cheap insurance and might even pay for itself.
Yes, hire a professional and set up a trust.
My sister and I finally convinced our parents to do, my father died unexpectedly 7 days later. My mother passed 5 years later and all was left to my sister and I. All stocks and bank accounts were split evenly and moved to our respective accounts. The house was easily transferred as well. No probate, no issues. My wife and I set one up 10 years before we convinced the parents to do it.
 

caribbean20

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Just been through this with 3 parents, sadly, in CA and CO. Parents had the Living Trust which made the 2 estate wind downs the easiest (I was executor on both). Other than the real estate, have a look at all of the other financial assets too, bank accounts, IRAs, investment accounts etc. If they are not also held in the name of the trust, try to get your name on them as a joint owner or at least beneficiary, if not, and no beneficiary is named, you get probate.

We ended up in probate for the estate in CO because 1 IRA had my MIL listed as beneficiary and sadly she pre deceased my FIL by 1 month. No living beneficiary, you have to look to the will and that’s probate in CO (if the assets are > $70K). Cost us about $10K in attorney fees, not the end of the world.
 

batterup

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My wife is an estate planning attorney is Brea. Feel free to give her a call. She is straight forward and will let you know the best steps to take or if you need to hire an attorney. Mention Keith referred you. haha
Michelyn Miller - www.oclawpro.com
714-441-1410
 

DanG

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I believe your dad could add you to the title and should not count as him gifting to you. Example would be titled in fathers name "or" your name. This should allow either of you to sign off on title and sale the asset if/when necessary. Just make sure to use "or" not "and".

That being said, my personal opinion from my limited knowledge and my personal experience, I would have him complete the family trust with a pour over will. The pour over will is what will transfer everything not titled in the trust into the trust upon death. This would include vehicles, boats, assets, etc. Your dad will need to have his home title transferred to the trust and recorded with the county once the trust is created.

It's not a bad idea to contact a trust attorney and ask the questions specific to your situation.
 

Flatsix66

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I hope the best for your father and family. We used the folks below to setup ours. They have the heart of a teacher and explain everything in plain language. I would highly recommend calling them or someone to give you professional guidance.

NEWMAN LAW GROUP
Trusts | Estates | Families
242 W. Main Street, Suite 101
Tustin, CA 92780
714-544-1845 T | 714-544-2730 F
www.newmanlg.com | [email protected]
 

2Driver

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I would be triple sure about putting yourself on the title in any way as it could result in a tax as income/gift.

Just do a trust. The time consuming thing is to get everything retitled into trust like all the accounts, vehicles and especially the house. The trust is worthless if everything isnt renamed in the trust.

And be sure to hire a true estate attorney and not one of the many places that claim they can do it for cheap because its just a bunch of forms.
 

8dayz

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The TOD is not taxable. A few minuets of your time might pay off. Obviously a full blown trust with all the tricks is the BEST way to go. I’m an only child and my folks have set one up many years ago. The TOD came up recently in my world, when the “pandemic” hit. I have an aunt with no spouse or children and has a nice paid for home in Alta Loma. She didn’t want to catch the Rona and check out leaving her home to probate. So the TOD it was. Everyone has a slightly different situation. A little research before you go interview professionals for their services isn’t a bad plan. Good luck and I wish your family well.
 

bocco

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As stated above. Use lawyer. This is no time for do it yourself. I think it's standard, but get a trust, a pour over will, Power of attorney and advance health care directive. It's also convenient to have a joint checking and credit card so you can bay bills and make purchases for your dad conveniently.
 

74 spectra20 v-drive

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My wife has done this for nearly 30 years and her father for nearly 50, you want to talk to, no, you need to talk to an attorney and get this set up correctly, the delays and penalties are enormous if done wrong.
 

wzuber

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Being added to the bank accounts now is an easy way to avoid future issues with those. Nothing like having to wait 90+ days to get that sorted out and fund all the final arraignments, expenses etc. Until all that gets corrected to reimburse yourself.
 

wzuber

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As stated above. Use lawyer. This is no time for do it yourself. I think it's standard, but get a trust, a pour over will, Power of attorney and advance health care directive. It's also convenient to have a joint checking and credit card so you can bay bills and make purchases for your dad conveniently.
The health care directive is extremely beneficial when medical conditions are in play. That was one thing my mom got right before she passed. Also, this will sound ridiculous but once the whole trust is set up and completed make sure the attorney and notary sign, date stamp their signatures. For whatever reason my mom's attorney didn't and what a mess of shit that became some 5 years later when she passed. Sorry to hear your father and uncle are in declining health. Good luck with your situation.
 

1tonfun

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Get legal advice. If you get added to the title now, you may lose the step up in basis you would receive if you inherited the property. Also, you need to follow through with transferring the assets into the name of the trust to keep them out of probate.
 

JeremyJoyce

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I do title insurance for a living. Don’t use a RTOD unless he’s on his deathbed. Even then I would recommend a quitclaim from him into both of your names as joint tenants. What you really need is a trust. I see people all the time that fill one thing out wrong and we can’t insure a sale. Nothing worse than having to tell someone they need to go through probate and loose time and money because they tried to save a fraction of both doing it themselves.
 

Socalx09

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Wow, thank you everyone. I will definitely reach out to a professional for advice. I honestly thought I could handle it by myself since it was only the house I was worried about with the trust. My dad doesn’t have a lot of assets besides the house, boat, cars and guns. He never saved for retirement. Just was banking on the equity ohouse and retiring to live at the havasu house. I am already on his checking accounts and have full access to it. I handle his monthly bills. I know where the pink slips are for the boat and cars. I always thought worse case scenario-I could sign over everything to my name, and transfer the money out since it’s only me.

He’s in stage 4 kidney disease and doesn’t see being on dialysis as a quality of life. Which I’m trying to change his mind about. Nor is he taking care of himself to delay it. So just trying to prepare the best I can for the future so I don’t have to deal with this stuff later on.
 

BUDMAN

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A little piece of advise regarding his bank account that we’ve learned from a neighbor and my father n law passing. If he has a substantial amount in his account(s) you need to be a beneficiary or added to his account(s). My neighbor who’s mom had a great sum in her accounts almost lost it to probate. Took them 6 months to get it straightened out. Sorry about your dad and uncles health.
 

Socalx09

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The TOD is not taxable. A few minuets of your time might pay off. Obviously a full blown trust with all the tricks is the BEST way to go. I’m an only child and my folks have set one up many years ago. The TOD came up recently in my world, when the “pandemic” hit. I have an aunt with no spouse or children and has a nice paid for home in Alta Loma. She didn’t want to catch the Rona and check out leaving her home to probate. So the TOD it was. Everyone has a slightly different situation. A little research before you go interview professionals for their services isn’t a bad plan. Good luck and I wish your family well.

Thank you so much for your advice. I will look into this as well and double check the qualifications. I’m not too sure I’ll qualify since it wouldn’t be my primary residence.
 

Socalx09

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My wife is an estate planning attorney is Brea. Feel free to give her a call. She is straight forward and will let you know the best steps to take or if you need to hire an attorney. Mention Keith referred you. haha
Michelyn Miller - www.oclawpro.com
714-441-1410


I hope the best for your father and family. We used the folks below to setup ours. They have the heart of a teacher and explain everything in plain language. I would highly recommend calling them or someone to give you professional guidance.

NEWMAN LAW GROUP
Trusts | Estates | Families
242 W. Main Street, Suite 101
Tustin, CA 92780
714-544-1845 T | 714-544-2730 F
www.newmanlg.com | [email protected]
Thank you both for the recommendations. I appreciate it since no one I know had a recommendation on one. I will definitely make phone calls next week.
 

WYRD

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Keep in mind when you transfer the house into the trust it will trigger a reassessment on the roll value. (Depending on county) So if the house has been owned for a long time that might be a big jump in taxes moving forward. Also don't forget to fund the trust once it's set up. If the assets are not moved into the trust it's useless. Make sure there is a pour-over will clause for any small items that didn't make it into the trust.
 

Ace in the Hole

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As stated above. Use lawyer. This is no time for do it yourself. I think it's standard, but get a trust, a pour over will, Power of attorney and advance health care directive. It's also convenient to have a joint checking and credit card so you can bay bills and make purchases for your dad conveniently.

I have all of this with my mom.. agreed get a good trust attorney and do it right.
 
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