Should You Transfer Your House and Avoid Probate in Minnesota?

Transfer Your House and Avoid Probate

Transfer Your House and Avoid Probate

How to transfer your house and avoid probate in Minnesota is a common question with situational or case by case results.

The idea of forcing your family into probate when the process is so much easier while we are alive is a no brainer.  On the flip side, inheriting a mess is an ugly alternative.

In my experience, it doesn’t matter if a family is young or old, rich or poor.  Everybody gets a choice, a few being very inexpensive!

Here are  three really fantastic strategies to reduce problems with a family home:

  1. Joint Tenancy,
  2. Transfer on Death Deed (TODD), and
  3. Utilizing a revocable trust.

Certainly, there are more than three options.  But, these are three of my favorites.

Joint Tenancy to Avoid Probate

Joint tenancy is a specific way to title a home.  Although this method does NOT reduce problems to a 0% percent chance, it can serve as a good step in the right direction.  

The next question I hear is “how do I find out”?

Generally, anybody can determine whether the deed to a house was titled joint tenancy by reading the deed.  

For those who cannot find their deed, I encourage calling the real property department serving the county where the home is located.  

A lot of people believe joint tenancy helps them avoid probate.  Again, this isn’t the case, but it is a god start because a joint tenancy supports a right of survivorship.

Transfer Your House and Avoid Probate by using a TODD

A transfer on death deed  does not necessarily help families avoid probate either.  

However, these types of deeds are very inexpensive and help transfer a home quickly and efficiently in certain situations involving our death.

If the person(s) receiving the property are still alive, then a TODD can be an effective tool.  If the person(s) receiving the property are not alive (dead), the effectiveness of a transfer on death deed has been defeated.

Not to worry, because there are other options to reduce this problem too.  

Transfer Your House and Avoid Probate with a Trust

I love revocable trusts for a whole lot of reasons.  Most families can use this type of estate planning document to their advantage.

Whether a trust can help depends on the documents being properly funded and:

  • Assumes the trustee doesn’t engage in mischief,
  • Beneficiaries are easily identified, and
  • There is a trustee.

Wait, you are concerned about a crazy family member?  The idea of meeting one-in-one is to flush out these issues.

Thus, this type of document is the preferred method of reducing problems.

Leaving It Up To Chance

I close with this:  none of us know how things are going to end.  

Money and cost is always important.

 Luckily, there are excellent alternatives to the process of leaving everything to chance.