Adding assets to a family trust allows you to benefit minor and adult children, relatives, friends and charity organisations of your choosing. One of the best ways to gain control over the management of your assets is to place them into a family trust. Family trusts are nearly impossible to fight in court and the assets owned by the trust cannot be sought after by creditors or lost in a bankruptcy filing. By adding your house to a family trust, you can be certain it goes to the beneficiary you want.
- Skill level:
Hire a real estate appraiser to appraise the property--including land, water sources and man-made structures such as fences--and provide a valuation of the property's fair market value. Contact the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers for a list of licensed real estate appraisers in your area.
Contact the lawyer who wrote the original trust deed or hire a new lawyer to amend your original trust deed, which is filed in probate court. Name the beneficiary of the house and provide any restrictions such as the house not being distributed until the beneficiary reaches a certain age.
Complete an Agreement for Sale and Purchase. This form permits you to sell an asset such as a house to a family trust. Fill in the appraiser's valuation for the property and list this amount as the purchase price. By transferring your house to your family trust you surrender ownership of the property in exchange for the purchase price listed.
Complete a Deed of Acknowledgment of Debt. This form permits you to loan your house to your family trust, which essentially means you will not receive a payment for the transfer. Over time, you can forgive the debt.
Turn both forms over to your lawyer, who will file the paperwork with the probate court and amend your trust deed.
Notify the trustee of the trust's new asset. The trustee oversees the distribution of the trust's assets.
Tips and warnings
- Your lawyer can write a new trust deed or amend an older deed.
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