There are situations when people want to transfer property to a loved one prior to their passing. There are several ways that this can be accomplished, each having pros and cons.
Establishing a trust has become a popular way to transfer property. However, the type of trust established could result in you losing complete control of the property. Additionally, property tax exemptions could be affected by transferring a property into a trust. When transferring a property via trust it is important to consider the purpose of the transfer, your financial needs for the future and the needs and circumstances of the beneficiary.
Deeding the property as a method of transfer may be a viable option for some and there are different ways to deed the property forward. A person can just deed the entire property and retain no ownership interest in the property. Alternately, you can transfer it as a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship gives each owner an undivided share that directly passes to the other owner. However, like a trust, there are benefits and consequences. If you deed the property forward to another party, it will likely have an effect on tax liability, some effects are positive and some can be negative. Additionally, if the property you are deeding is your residence you are losing some or all of the control of your home.
There is no crystal ball to know what your healthcare needs may be as you age and your ownership interest in property can affect benefit eligibility. There is no right or wrong solution to transferring property and it is deeply dependent on your specific situation and needs. Always contact an attorney to fully explore the options available to you.