Salt Lake City, UT asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Utah

Q: I just need a simple answer. My roommate and I are going to buy a home. How do we each keep our children from taking

Possession if something happens to either one of us?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Here are two options:

1. You can set up a trust and both be trustees of the trust and when you purchase the property you purchase it in the name of the trust. If you do this then not only can you plan for the situation of what happens to if something happens to one of you, but it will also answer the question of what happens if something happens to both of you. It will avoid the need for probate.

2. When you purchase the property you take title to it as joint tenants (you do not want to take title as "tenants in common"). This will give both of you a right of survivorship (if one of you dies the other takes full ownership) this doesn't solve the question of what happens to the property if both of you pass at the same time though. After the survivor passes, it will have to go through probate to transfer to someone else unless the survivor does something else.

I recommend the first option, but it quite a bit more expensive up front. I hope this helps.


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