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Transferring Real Estate to Children

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For many parents, transferring real estate to their children is an important part of their estate planning process. There are several ways that parents can do this, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
April 5, 2023 ★ 

Urban Turf’s recent article entitled “How Can Parents Transfer Real Estate to Their Children?” looks at some of the more common ways that parents transfer real estate to children.

Gifting. One of the easiest ways for parents to give real estate to their children is through a gift. The parents transfer ownership of the property without any exchange of money. While this does not involve any tax implications for the children, it may trigger a gift tax for the parents if the property’s value exceeds the annual gift tax exclusion limit.

Sale. In this situation, the parents sell the property to their children at a reduced price or with a low-interest rate mortgage. This can benefit both parties because the parents can receive some financial compensation, and the children can acquire the property at a lower cost.

Trusts. Parents create a trust that holds the property with the children named as beneficiaries. The trust can be structured to let the children get income from the property, or they can receive the property outright at a specified time. Trusts can also provide tax benefits for both the parents and the children.

Joint ownership. This entails the parents adding their children's names to the property title, making them co-owners. Joint ownership can provide several benefits, like avoiding probate and creating a seamless transfer of ownership in the case of the parents' deaths.

Life estate. In this case, the parents transfer ownership of the property to their children. However, they reserve the right to live there until their death. This lets the parents keep ownership and control of the property during their lifetime, while ensuring that the property will eventually pass to their children.

Transferring real estate to children can be complex. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an estate planning attorney when considering one of these options.

Reference: Urban Turf (March 13, 2023) “How Can Parents Transfer Real Estate to Their Children?”

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