The Best Title For Your Home
The way in which you title your home will have a significant impact on your estate. Although there are some variations per state, there are three general ways in which you can title your home: solely, joint tenancy, and tenants in common.
Each has benefits and drawbacks. If you own a home with someone who would not be recognized as part of your legal family, joint tenancy is a great way to ensure they can stay in the home after you pass.
Creditors and potential lawsuits can pose a threat to your home today and after you have passed. If you have a complicated family (multiple marriages, a step-family, or an unmarried partner) or you own a business, you should consult an attorney to ensure that your home is protected now and passed along as per your wishes when you die.
For example, one of your children might be the primary caregiver for your and your spouse. While you might intend to give the house to that one child for the sacrifices he or she has made, both your will and the title on the house will impact the likelihood of that happening without complications.
If you own a business that carries significant debt, your estate might be responsible for that debt when you die. If you have equity in your home, those creditors could force your widow or widower to sell the family home and pay off the debts.
While you can ask a title company for advice, many title companies are reluctant to give legal guidance. An estate lawyer is your best option.