Investing in Real Estate in Other States Magnifies the Need for a Living Trust

Shopping for real estate bargains?  Considering investing in real property located across state lines?  Already own homes in more than one state?  I hope you have a living trust, and that each parcel is in the trust.  If you want your heirs to avoid multiple probates, that is.

A primary function of probate courts is to transfer assets from decedents to heirs.  A living trust, also known as a revocable trust, can enable the heirs to avoid probate.  More about that here.  But even if probate is required, because for example there was no trust, the probate court in the state where decedent lived and owned a home does not have jurisdiction over real estate located in another state.  A separate probate court proceeding will have to be commenced and concluded in each separate state where property is owned.  The solution to this multi-state nightmare is to put all of the real estate into a living trust.  If done properly, each parcel can be managed and transferred by the designated successor trustee, and, if there are no disputes, without any court involvement.

House for sale in Rocky Ripple
Creative Commons License photo credit: chris.corwin

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