Even if you have a will when you die, the property that you leave your heirs could be tied up in probate for several months, if not years. The best way to make sure your children or other beneficiaries get the property you want them to have is to create a living trust. After you die, the property in your living trust does not need to go through probate.
What Is a Living Trust?
A living trust, also called a revocable trust, is a legal document which allows you to state what you want to happen to your property upon your death. It can also take effect if you become incapacitated and can no longer make your own decisions. A property lawyer in Santa Barbara, CA can prepare the necessary documents so the transfer of the property to your heirs goes smoothly.
Process of Transferring Property
The process of transferring property to a living trust is simple and a property lawyer can prepare all the necessary documents. A grant deed has to be prepared with your name as the grantor, the name of the grantee, and a legal description of the property which should include the parcel number. This number will be included in the “Preliminary Change of Ownership Report” sent to the county tax assessor.
The mortgage lender, if there is one, and the property’s insurance carrier will also need to be notified. Once the proper documents have been created and sent to the appropriate parties, your property lawyer will make sure copies of the grant deed and the Preliminary Change of Ownership Report are filed at the county recorder’s office.
The recorder’s office will send the documentation to the county assessor. The living trust should include instructions on how any remaining mortgage and property taxes will be paid before the property goes to your beneficiaries.