Q: Can I leave house and cars by transfer on death deeds to my 14 year old daughter w/o court involved. Do I need trustees
My husband and I own our home, no mortgage and own all autos w/ clear titles. We are self employed low income, but what we have, we own. I also have a son that is 24, but not responsible to handle such matters. What is the cheapest and simplest way to make sure that our daughter gets our property without probate issues and it being tied of in court and all is lost in court cost and legal fees. I don't know what else to say. Any other info needed, please feel free to ask. Thank you.
A: Probably the cheapest and easiest way is to create a simple revocable living trust that names you and your husband as trustees and primary beneficiaries and then names a successor trustee that takes over and manages the property for your daughter until she reaches the age you want her to receive the assets. What attorneys charge to set up such trusts varies greatly, but you should be able to find one to do it for around $1,000.
The problem with simply using Transfer on Death deeds is that if you die before your daughter reaches the age of 18, a court will need to appoint a court-supervised custodian/guardian to care for the property until she is of age, which is going to be just as expensive and burdensome as probate, maybe more so.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any follow up questions.
P.S. Congrats on your financial success. Not many people own their homes and cars debt free, regardless of their income. Sounds like you've been very financially savvy and responsible.
David A. Cincotta agrees with this answer
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