It’s finally summer. The kids are out of school and now is the time to visit the family vacation home for some rest and relaxation! If you’re like most people, your vacation home probably is located in a different state than your primary residence. As an owner of a vacation home, do you know how it will pass after your death to your heirs?
When someone dies in Kansas, any property owned in their individual name and without a Transfer on Death Deed will require a probate proceeding in order to transfer ownership to their heirs or beneficiaries. However, Kansas probate only applies to Kansas property. Real estate owned outside of the state—like a vacation home or investment property—will require a separate probate in the state where the property is located, known as an ancillary probate.
If the vacation home or investment property is put into a Trust during the owner’s lifetime, however, a probate can be avoided and the property can pass to whomever is named in the Trust. Even out of state
property can be transferred to a Trust, thus avoiding the need for an ancillary probate. The type of Trust most often used for this purpose, due to its flexibility, is a Revocable Trust. As its name implies, a Revocable Trust can be modified in any way at any time by the person who created it (a/k/a the Grantor), so long as the Grantor still has the mental capacity to do so. Assets placed in the Trust can be removed during the Grantor’s lifetime whenever necessary and Trust provisions, such as the Trust beneficiaries or Trustees, can be easily changed.
When you own property out of state, be sure your estate planning attorney is made aware of your ownership interest. If not properly addressed, even partial ownership in such a property can be problematic after your death. This includes ownership in time-share properties. If you fail to plan for the transfer of out of state property, your heirs may end up with a time-consuming and expensive mess to deal with after your death. You might want to consider establishing a Revocable Trust now so that your heirs and loved ones can avoid the pains of probate not only in Kansas, but in a secondary state, as well.
For more information on Estate Planning and Probate avoidance, contact Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). We focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
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