The title of an asset designates the legal ownership. When planning your estate details, you want to be sure you understand titling and how it can impact what happens after you die.
Citizen Bank explains the title of property conveys to the court who owns it, so if you were to transfer a title to someone else’s name, you could potentially avoid probate. Titling is a unique way to make adjustments so you can avoid having your estate stuck in probate after your death.
When it comes to the title of real property, you would need to title it in the name of only one other person. When putting the title in multiple names, it gives multiple people claims. For example, you do not want to title property in your name and someone else’s name. It will not transfer on your death to the joint owner. Your portion would go to your next of kin, such as a spouse. If you want the joint owner to have full ownership, you would either need to put that in your estate documents or title it completely in the other person’s name, if you want to avoid probate.
Other things to consider
Of course, if you want to change a title, which changes ownership, you may have tax implications right now. You need to think about the potential costs of doing it while you are still alive. If taxation is going to be an issue, you could create a trust to transfer the title or try other options, such as titles that transfer on death.
Titles can be one way to help you manage your estate assets. However, you do need to consider all aspects of messing with a title before making your final decisions.