If you have a Living Trust, and you are relying on it save your survivors (family, spouse, relatives) the cost and hassle of probate, REMEMBER that it must be the owner of your assets at the time you pass away. For example, a surviving spouse met with me this week. She and her husband owned a vacation cabin in another state. My office had prepared a deed to transfer the cabin to their Trust, but the husband wanted to record it with the County Recorder instead of us mailing it to the Recorder for that purpose. We said “OK”. Many years passed. Husband has died, and the cabin is still titled in the name of husband and wife (with no rights of survivorship). Husband’s surviving wife can’t find the deed. So, in order to clear the title to husband’s one-half ownership, we’ll need to probate his estate in the other state. That cost, time and trouble could have all been avoided if husband would have recorded the deed (as he intended to do) or let us do it. We usually catch these errors with our clients during an annual review meeting, however, this couple had not accepted our numerous invitations to have free annual reviews. I hope this REMINDER helps you avert a problem like this one. Randy.
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