Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

"We live in Fl. My mother is 78 and I had to bring her to live with me because of her health. She has a house which is empty for the moment my 2 brothers and I are wondering which is the best way to handle her house, how can we avoid probate when she passes ..."

Asked on 4/14/12, 7:59 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Sanford M. Martin Sanford M. Martin, P.A.

Depending on her circumstances, options for avoiding probate because of

ownership of the property include: use of family revocable trust which

provides for distribution of the house after death; transferring ownership of

the house to a beneficiary while reserving a life estate for your mother;

transferring ownership from only her name to joint ownership with right

of survivor to the property, and others. Many persons in such circumstances

select an option such as described to avoid probate.

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Answered on 4/14/12, 8:28 pm

You can look at a couple of options which most people would prefer. First, a Revocable Living Trust. Possibly Joint Ownership (which is usually not the best choice).

Finally either a Life Estate Deed or a variation of it called a Lady Bird Deed. It provides your mother to be the life owner, and upon her demise, then to her beneficiaries. It works like a ITF account in a bank. Upside is that it is cheap and easy. Downside is if there is a mortgage on the place or someone has a tax problem.

Before proceeding, meet with an attorney to determine the best course of action.

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Answered on 4/15/12, 4:48 am

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