Skip to Main Content

How asset ownership affects your estate

Let’s talk about your assets.

Part of the purpose of estate planning is to make sure that your property gets transferred to the right people upon your death. After all, you worked hard to build up your wealth over the years. You want to know that the money will be used to the best benefit of your heirs after you’re gone.

Unfortunately, a lot of people make mistakes when they assign ownership of the assets they hold. For example, are some of your assets held in your name only? While it may have made sense to keep them that way earlier in your life, it could be problematic later. Joint ownership with your spouse can protect your assets from being depleted unnecessarily by your creditors after your death and ease the transfer of your property to your spouse.

Other times, people make the mistake of transferring ownership of their primary assets — especially real property — to their adult children. This could put you in a financially vulnerable position later and still not achieve the wealth-protection goals you have. For example, “selling” your home to your adult child for a nominal fee might subject your child to gift taxes. That would defeat the point of trying to avoid probate.

If you want to keep your assets out of probate, there are a variety of sound options you can use, including things like Lady Bird deeds and trusts. Please explore our site to learn more about the possibilities or contact our office to discuss the goals you have for your estate.