Many people do not consider planning their estate when they purchase a house. Young homeowners do not always consider the future, but this is understandable during the excitement and months of preparation.
However, once you settle into your new home, you should start drafting an estate plan. If you or your spouse pass away before writing a will or creating a trust, California intestate law dictates the succession of your property.
Estate plans might avoid probate
If you create a trust or transfer-on-death deed, you can keep your assets out of probate and save time and money for your loved ones. Compare this to the alternative, where you do not create an estate plan. Probate in California takes anywhere from 9 to 18 months. However, if something goes wrong, probate might last for two years or longer. There is no reason to allow your home to enter probate.
Simple options for protecting your assets
A straightforward way to plan for the worst-case scenario is to sign for a house as joint owners with your spouse. If one of you dies, the other becomes the full owner. However, if you do not want to sign as joint owners, your next best option is to create a trust. According to California Courts, the property you place in a living trust transfers to the heir without going to court.
Owning property without adequate protections leads to complications and wasted time for your loved ones. If you purchase a home, your next step should be to protect your loved ones by creating a proper estate plan.