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How might someone address a home in an estate plan?


Estate planning may involve deliberately thinking about what particular assets go to certain beneficiaries. Haphazard planning could lead to ill feelings among heirs, which might be something a will’s testator wishes to avoid. A family’s Texas home might be the most valuable asset in an estate. Property may be the asset that also passes the most responsibilities to the person inheriting it. Anyone drawing up a will may wish to think about the various options available when wondering what to do with a house.

A house might come with special considerations

When transferring stocks, bonds, and other assets to a beneficiary, recipients won’t find themselves tasked with repairs, maintenance, security, and upkeep, as is the case with a home. In some cases, the current homeowner insurance policy may esquire quickly when the owner passes away, so the executor might need to purchase a policy. With these things in mind, an estate planner may start thinking about the most qualified beneficiary to inherit the house.

What happens when the homeowner lives in a state far away from their heirs? Could this force selling the home for cash right away, and would the testator feel comfortable with such an outcome? Again, investing an appropriate amount of time with estate planning could aid in addressing such concerns.

Selling the home and dividing the cash

A will could require the executor to sell the house. The will could even spell out terms of the sale, such as the house must go to the first would-be buyer who offers more than a stated amount. Afterward, the cash could follow distribution requirements specified in the will. Be mindful that a will might end up contested, as challenging the will becomes an option for those with standing.

One option could involve putting the house into a trust, and then the person managing the trust could handle a sale and asset distribution. A trust might help everyone avoid issues with probate.

An estate planning attorney could assist someone interested in writing a will or establishing a trust. Bequeathing a home might prove more complicated than assumed, so seeking legal assistance may prove beneficial.