Your home really is your ‘castle’ as it’s one of your most important investments. Your home can be your biggest investment, especially in California, and as such, needs to be titled in your trust. Our office makes sure that your home is titled in your trust when your living trust is created.
What happens if you sell your house? Your old home will be titled as the new owners wish. You need to make sure that your new dwelling is titled in your trust. Inform your realtor and the title company that you want your house titled in the trust, and provide them with the name of your trust. For ease, we provide our clients with laminated “business cards” which have the formal name of their living trust. We put them in the front of their red Estate Planning Portfolio binder containing the copy of their estate planning documents. Just give the formal living trust name to the institution drawing up your paperwork, and the institution should draw the paperwork up with the house as part of the trust.
What about refinancing? This is can be little trickier. Most homeowners assume, since nothing is changing is terms of ownership, that the house will continue to be titled in the trust. This is not always the case! Some institutions take the house “out” of the trust during the refi process, i.e, the institution will create a new deed transferring the house from “Home Owner, Trustee of the Homeowner Living Trust, Dated January 1, 2000” to just “Home Owner” to make it easier to complete the refi process. However, the house doesn’t always make it back into the trust. You, as the homeowner and trustee, need to be vigilant to make sure your house stays in the trust, or “goes back in” the trust when the refinancing is complete. We have seen a probate case due to a refinance which took the home out of the trust, but didn’t retitle it back into the trust at the completion of the refinance process. Just be vigilant with your realtor and/or banker to ensure your home is kept in the trust, or put back in the trust. We are always happy to help our existing clients with this process.