Many families in New Hampshire have more than one place they call home. Some have a beach house in Florida, others have a cabin in the north they like to visit during the summer. These retreats hold many memories for the property owners, and soon they will have to decide who will make new memories there in the future.
Out-of-state real estate is one of the more complicated assets to include in your estate planning. Most of your will or trust revolves around what you have in your home state and city, so this means your heirs will have to deal with ancillary probate, an additional process that can lead to additional taxes and court fees. There are strategies to work around this, but you may want to think about the following factors first:
You are familiar with the challenges that come with paying for and maintaining a second home that is in another state. Many people leave real estate with family members, but you should first see who is up to the task of maintaining the property.
Your second home may be an ideal family getaway, but your possible beneficiaries may not have the means to maintain the property. Before you determine who will inherit the property, take the time to outline the physical and financial responsibilities they will have and see whether that makes a difference.
If you do not have a loved one who desires the property and you have little use for it in the latter years of your life, it may be time to sell the property.
What is the best transfer option?
Two common ways parties avoid ancillary probate is by including it in a living trust or by establishing a joint beneficiary with rights of survivorship. If you choose the latter option, the property would be retitled to be under you and your beneficiary’s ownership, and the candidate would inherit the full property automatically after your death.
This ultimately depends on what your preferences were prior to this decision and if your beneficiary is ready to share the real estate with you. If you need advice on what works best and how to make the transfer easier for your beneficiaries, contact an estate planning attorney to help you take the most effective path.