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Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

I want to give my kids a life estate in my property. I just need a deed right?

By Jennifer Gumbel

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in All Ask the Expert

A deed will transfer the property and you can reserve a right to the benefits of the property (receiving rents and the right to use the property). But, there are many repercussions to a life estate that you should evaluate before signing and recording the deed. First, the property is transferred and your kids have ownership rights the day you sign and deliver it. This means that your kids may have things come up, like divorces or creditors that could create a title issue on your property. For this reason, a transfer on death deed can be a better option. Second, you can’t take the property back. If you want the property free of your kids’ ownership, they need to deed back to you. Finally, transferring property of any kind may have significant gift, estate or income tax issues. A life estate may be a good idea, depending on your circumstances. However, you should meet with both an attorney and CPA to make sure you don’t get surprised later on.

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