Your home is in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you don’t lay your head elsewhere. Any properties you own outside the state will need to pass along after you’re gone, but the location can make things a lot more difficult for your family without taking precautions.

More than half of American adults don’t have a plan in place to help their families navigate complicated matters concerning their estate. Intestacy can get dicey when it comes time to figure out complex holdings, not the least of which includes property you may have outside the state of Florida.

Compounding probate

If you own a home in another state and you don’t take any measures to assure simplicity, you could be sentencing your loved ones to time in ancillary probate. This means the administrator of your estate may have to perform their duties in a second probate according to whatever court system oversees the location of the property.

Passing property

There are a few ways you can dodge messy out-of-state dealings with a bit of proper planning:

  • Revocable living trust: You can name your property in a living trust, which will go into effect when you pass on. You’ll retain ownership of the property while you’re alive, allowing you to make changes to the trust, and only once enacted will the real estate pass along to the party you name.
  • Joint ownership: Co-owning a piece of property with someone with joint tenancy could automatically transfer the real estate into their name. This will shift your share of the property to them outside the probate process.
  • Special deed: While Florida doesn’t abide by Transfer-on-Death (TOD) deeds, a handful of other states do. Depending on the location of the property, you can use a TOD deed that can transfer real estate to a beneficiary upon your passing.

Planning starts with understanding ways you can make your family’s life a little simpler once you’re gone. Make sure you lay out a solid foundation to easily take care of your property, both here in Florida and beyond.