Phillips, WI asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin

Q: What is the best way to set things up for if I pass before he does?

I purchased a home before I meet my husband. The deed and loan are in my name only. I would like for things to just go to him so he has a home with our children.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Depending on how the title to the deed reads now, you could pass this to your husband via deed, or via your Will or Trust at death. Doing it in your estate plan (Will or Trust) may make sense, because you still have a mortgage on the property, and you could also spell out if your husband will have complete control over the house, or if instead he will have the right to live in it until he dies etc. Sometimes you want to restrict the ability of the surviving spouse to change the title to the home after you are gone (for example if you are concerned they might alter their own estate plan and leave the house solely to his heirs instead of yours). This can depend on if all of your children are both of yours, or if each of you has children from a previous relationship. There are a variety of factors to consider here. I suggest working with a qualified estate planning attorney who can lay out your options and the costs for each method before you decide what is best for you.

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