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Transferring Real Property into a Revocable Trust: Benefits and Considerations

Real property, such as your home or investment properties, is often one of the most valuable assets you own. As you plan for the future and consider how to manage and protect your assets, one option worth exploring is transferring real property into a revocable trust. This legal arrangement offers several benefits, but it’s important to understand the implications and considerations involved.

What is a Revocable Trust?

Before diving into the benefits, let’s first establish a clear understanding of what is a revocable trust. A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a legal entity that holds and manages your assets during your lifetime. The “revocable” aspect means you can make changes or even dissolve the trust if you wish. Upon your passing, the trust assets are distributed to your chosen beneficiaries according to your instructions, typically without the need for probate court involvement.

Benefits of Transferring Real Property into a Revocable Trust:

1. Avoiding Probate

One of the primary advantages of placing real property in a revocable trust is avoiding the probate process. Probate can be time-consuming, expensive, and public, as it involves court proceedings to distribute your assets after your death. With a revocable trust, the transfer of property to beneficiaries can occur much more efficiently and privately.

2. Smooth Transition of Assets

A revocable trust allows for a seamless transition of real property to your chosen heirs. This can be especially beneficial if you own multiple properties or have complex distribution preferences. By specifying your wishes in the trust document, you can help prevent disputes and ensure a smoother transfer of assets.

3. Maintaining Control

Despite transferring property into a trust, you retain control over those assets during your lifetime. You can buy, sell, or mortgage the property as you see fit, just as you would if it were not in the trust. This flexibility is a significant advantage compared to some other estate planning tools.

4. Privacy

Probate proceedings are public record, which means anyone can access information about your assets and beneficiaries. A revocable trust provides greater privacy since its terms and details remain confidential. This can be essential for individuals who value their privacy or have sensitive family or financial situations.

5. Planning for Incapacity

A revocable trust also serves as a valuable tool for incapacity planning. If you become unable to manage your affairs due to illness or injury, the successor trustee you’ve appointed can step in to manage the trust assets on your behalf, ensuring that your real property is taken care of without the need for a guardianship or conservatorship.

Considerations and Caveats:

While the benefits of transferring real property into a revocable trust are clear, there are some important considerations:

  1. Cost: Setting up and maintaining a trust can involve legal fees and administrative costs.
  2. Complexity: Managing a trust can be more complex than owning property outright, so it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney to ensure it aligns with your goals and needs.
  3. Funding: To enjoy the benefits, you must properly transfer ownership of your property into the trust. Failure to do so can result in assets going through probate.
  4. Tax Implications: Consult with a tax professional to understand the potential tax implications of transferring property into a trust.

If you decide that you want to move forward and want to transfer your real property into a trust, Federal Title & Escrow Company can help.  The good news is that transferring real property into a trust is transfer tax exempt in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, subject to certain conditions.  Please reach out to our office via and we can let you know the next steps and pricing.

Deed Transfers, real estate, Tips or Advice