I am listed as the trustee on a piece of (real estate) property owned by a family member. That family member is ill and may not live much longer. Does that property need to be transferred in my name or is being the trustee enough to avoid probate?
Any property owned by the trust is NOT subject to probate. The trust is a contract that controls the distribution of the property. Probate only applies to assets in the deceased person's estate (i.e. assets that are owned and/or titled in the name of the deceased person). Assets titled in a trust are not titled in the name of the deceased person and therefore not subject to probate.
If the property was supposed to be in the Trust, but is not, then immediate action must be taken, if possible. If the owner still has mental capacity or has an agent that can act on their behalf, then you need to convey the property into the trust asap. Good luck and I am sorry that your family member is so ill! It would be a good idea to verify that all assets are properly titled so that the trust can do its job and keep your family out of probate. Bank accounts, investment accounts, valuable vehicles and other valuable assets can all cause a probate if they are not properly titled or otherwise designed to pass on to a beneficiary. A review of the Estate, the Trust and all assets with an attorney would be very prudent at this time.
Ian is the founding partner of Hasegawa Paulsen PLC, offering Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business formation and planning, Probate & related services. This response is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.You should consult directly and privately with an attorney to discuss your particular circumstances in order to receive advice particular to your needs.
Real property titled in trust will avoid probate.
No. No need to transfer property before death of trustor to avoid probate.
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