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Life estate deed and revocable trust

November 3, 2017
By ERIC FEICHTHALER - Real Estate Law , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Dear Mr. Feichthaler:

I have heard that, as long as our home is titled to my wife and I, as husband and wife, I will never have to worry about probate. Is this true? I don't want to pay any money to lawyers unnecessarily!

- Steven B.

Dear Steven:

Generally speaking, a husband and wife who own homestead property are best suited to hold it in both names, as a married couple. This method provides for potential asset protection, and should one of you perish, the other would retain title to the property with the recording of a death certificate. However, you will have to worry about probate on the passing of the surviving spouse. Without planning, your property will go through probate to be transferred to your loved ones. Probate is almost always avoidable, and very expensive. As you note, paying lawyers unnecessarily is never a good thing.

By executing a life estate deed or preparing a revocable trust, probate can be avoided for a fraction of the cost. Regardless of your assets and age, having a plan to handle your assets is cost-effective, and will help your family avoid the added burdens of probate and their associated stresses and costs.

Eric P. Feichthaler has lived in Cape Coral for 28 years and graduated from Mariner High School in Cape Coral. After completing law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., he returned to Southwest Florida to practice law and raise a family. He served as mayor of Cape Coral from 2005-2008, and continued his service to the community through his chairmanship of the Harney Point Kiwanis Club KidsFest from 2011-2015, which provides a free day of fun and learning to thousands of Cape Coral families, and funds numerous scholarships. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for 14 years, and they have four children together. Recently, he earned his board certification in Real Estate Law from the Florida Bar. He is also a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator.

This article is general in nature and not intended as legal advice to anyone. Individuals should seek legal counsel before acting on any matter of legal rights and obligations.



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