People in Texas understandably do not like to think about death. However, failure to create estate plans, which can include wills or trusts, will prevent them from being able to dictate what happens to their possessions when they die. This is especially true for people who have land or homes they would like to pass down to their loved ones.
Where a house or land is involved, things can become complicated quickly. Sometimes a simple will may not be sufficient for addressing what happens to these large assets. This is because the heirs will need to wait until these items pass through probate -- a process that can take several months and be costly -- before they can legally own them. In addition, any properties that go through probate are subject to taxes, and this can be expensive if the properties are high value.
Living trusts can help to prevent these problems from happening. When a person puts property in trust, this means he or she is allowing somebody else -- a trustee -- to hold the property for another individual's benefit. The person creating the trust may also choose to serve as the trustee himself or herself and only pass this role onto another party when he or she passes away.
Although living trusts are especially helpful for high-value assets in Texas, they can get complicated. However, an attorney can transfer property, such as real estate, into a trust, and these types of transfers are usually tax free. Appropriate legal guidance may help people to protect their assets and wishes as well as the best interests of their heirs through comprehensive estate planning.
Source: realtor.com, "You're Going to Die -- Here Are the Best Ways to Deal With Your Home", Warren Christopher Freiberg, July 22, 2016