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Dallas Estate Planning Lawyers for Real Estate Property and Land

If you have real estate you want to include in your estate plan, contact Staubus and Randall immediately. An experienced estate planning attorney in Dallas can help safeguard your assets during your lifetime and when you die.

Estate planning isn’t only about informing your loved ones of your wishes. It also involves protecting your assets. If you own real estate, creating the appropriate documents to ensure the right people get your property when you’re gone is crucial. You can pass these assets to your family without confusion or legal disputes.

At Staubus and Randall, our legal team has over 100 years of combined experience in estate planning. We will review the real estate and land you own to establish an estate plan most beneficial for you and your loved ones. Call our Dallas estate planning attorneys at 214-691-3411 for your free consultation today.

How to Include Real Estate Property in an Estate Plan

Real estate isn’t limited to a person’s residence. It can include a vacation home, rental property, building, or land. You can set up your real estate property to distribute to your beneficiaries upon your death, minimize estate taxes, and potentially avoid probate.

Below are the primary types of real estate and how to protect them.

Primary Residence

You must consider the way your primary residence is titled during estate planning. Typically, you title your home in both spouses’ names when you are married. Your primary residence can qualify for the homestead exemption, allowing a tax break. However, it doesn’t benefit your spouse when you die because the home doesn’t automatically transfer to them.

You can ensure your spouse assumes automatic ownership of your primary residence upon your death with a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship agreement. The agreement allows your home to pass to your spouse without going through probate. They won’t have to wait for a judge to validate your will and authorize the transfer of this asset.

Setting up a transfer-on-death deed (TOD) is necessary if you’re single and want your beneficiary to avoid probate. You can name anyone as the beneficiary of your primary residence. The person you choose will receive your home or land when you die.

Creating a qualified personal residence trust (QRPT) is another option for leaving behind your home in your estate plan. A QRPT is a type of irrevocable trust.

As the grantor of the trust, you maintain interest in the property and can remain in your home for a predetermined timeframe. Continuing to live in the home reduces the property’s value, minimizing your beneficiary’s estate and gift taxes.

When the term ends, the trust’s beneficiary assumes ownership if you are still alive. However, if you die before the end of the term, the residence will return to your estate, preventing your family from receiving tax benefits.

Vacation Home

If you own a vacation home, you should consider setting up a trust or limited liability company (LLC). It protects the property and simplifies transferring ownership to your surviving family upon your death.

You can establish the rules for maintaining and using the home with an LLC or trust. You can also determine what should happen to it when you die. You might decide you want it to stay in the family and pass to the next generation. Or you could have your beneficiary sell it and keep the proceeds.

A vacation home owned by an LLC is also beneficial because an LLC protects your personal assets from creditors. For example, if a creditor files a claim against your LLC for unpaid bills, they can only use those assets to satisfy the debt. They can’t use your personal assets to repay what you owe.

Rental Property

Owning rental property provides an additional income stream. However, rental properties come with multiple risks. You can face lawsuits and other legal issues while you’re alive if a renter gets hurt on the property. You can set up an LLC to own the rental property to avoid personal liability.

Establishing a living trust for the property provides additional benefits for your loved ones. You minimize estate taxes, avoid probate, and allow someone you appoint to manage the asset if you’re incapacitated and can’t do yourself.

Common Types of Deeds in Texas

A deed is a legal document used to transfer property ownership to another person. Using a deed for real estate in estate planning is beneficial to accomplish specific goals. The most common deeds in estate planning include:

  • Transfer-on-death (TOD) deed – A TOD deed allows you to transfer your interests in real estate property or land to someone else when you die. The person you leave the asset to won’t have to go through probate to assume ownership. They will receive it upon your death and can use it how they want.
  • Life estate deed – A life estate deed benefits you and your beneficiary. You can transfer ownership of the land or home while retaining rights to a life estate on the property. However, you maintain responsibility for expenses like mortgage payments, maintenance costs, and taxes while alive. You also can’t sell the property unless you obtain consent from all named beneficiaries.
  • Lady Bird deed (LBD) – You can reserve a life estate for yourself and transfer your real estate interests when you die with an LBD. Unlike a life estate deed, you can use the property during your lifetime by mortgaging, leasing, or selling it. When you pass away, if you haven’t sold the property, it will revert to your beneficiary automatically, who will avoid probate.

Protect Your Real Estate During Estate Planning

A well-prepared estate plan allows you and your loved ones to reap the benefits of real estate ownership. Estate planning is essential whether you have a primary residence, land, or rental property. You must protect your valuable assets and secure your family’s financial future.

Staubus and Randall can review your real estate and advise you on your options for including it in your estate plan. We can help you minimize estate taxes, establish beneficiary designations, and prevent your loved ones from enduring the time-consuming and costly probate process.

If you want to learn more about how to include your real estate property and land in your estate plan, call us at 214-691-3411 for your free consultation with a Dallas estate planning attorney now.

The Firm

The attorneys at Staubus and Randall have over 100 years of combined experience in estate planning, probate, and litigation. We have the knowledge and skills to tackle complex legal issues, such as guardianships, will contests, fiduciary litigation, and trust litigation. We can also handle routine matters, such as estate administration, probating wills, heirship determinations, and other probate court matters.

Staubus and Randall received a preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible from a peer-rated legal service. This rating recognizes our hard work, dedication, and the case results we’re able to achieve.

Staubus & Randall Team

What Our Clients Say

"I recently had the occasion to hire Mr. Staubus for a hotly contested Guardianship matter. Mr. Staubus brought a rare combination of effectiveness, reasonableness and understanding of the human element involved. Mr. Staubus handled all things in a calm, highly competent, effective and reasonable way. It could not have been as easy as he made it seem. He's a credit to the Bar."

Jody

"Before retaining the guidance of the Staubus & Randall firm, I was at my wit's end trying to close an uncle's estate as a co-executor. In addition to dealing with difficult heirs, I had other pressing business issues coming up immediately on estate land in the middle of the Eagleford Shale including dealings with pipeline, seismic, oil & gas, and construction companies. The local bank also refused to give me access to information relating to the estate. This quickly became the most stressful and desperate time in my life...and then I found Joseph Legere who truly became my guardian angel. He was able to get all issues resolved efficiently and the estate fully closed. His professionalism, immense legal knowledge on a wide variety of topics, and amazing communication skills took the burdens off of me and quickly got closure. I am forever indebted to this firm for giving me my life back."

Martha

"Without exception, the legal service, professional attitude, prompt communication of your firm and your legal knowledge is second to none. I only wish I had an attorney here in Boston that could hold a candle to your experience and expertise. Working with you has been a pleasure, but even more, has made me believe that there are knowledgeable attorneys that do care about doing a good job. Thank you Keith! You may not truly understand how much of an impact you are having on peoples lives, but for me, you have helped change my life. As I begin making my dreams come true I can't help but remember none of this would be possible without you."

Joann

"Keith Staubus and Julie Blankenship and their team represented me in a jury trial in the probate court where the ownership of the business which I had worked hard to build was at stake. They successfully fought to preserve my business and my professional reputation, working masterfully to gain the support of the jury. I would not hesitate to hire them again in any bet-the-company litigation.”

Karen

"I have required legal representation twice in my life in two separate will contests. Both times I sought assistance from Keith Staubus and Staubus/Randall. Their service, approach, and determination to obtain results exceeded the other attorneys in each case. Mr. Staubus has always come across as genuine while being direct. He gets the process done in a timely manner with results. I will certainly use him again when and if any new challenges arise.”

David

"After my husband's death, I was devastated by having to defend against a vicious dispute over my husband's estate. Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus made me feel very comfortable in this distressing situation. They were very tough and did an excellent job for me in obtaining a summary judgment in my favor without a full jury trial. I was glad to have them and Diane Walker in my corner to help me achieve an excellent result - I won! If I ever had to go back to probate court, I would hire them again.” - (will and trust construction case)

Flo

"If you need intervention for someone you love but don't know where to turn or who to turn to, Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus helped me through the most difficult and stressful time in my life with a much loved family member. I now believe that good will triumph over evil. They fought for what was right, and good prevailed." (contested guardianship and will contest)

Janet

"As a professional money manager, I have used Ryan Randall's estate planning services both personally and for my clients. Ryan has exhibited three critical attributes in his work with me: (1) high intellectual capacity, (2) exceptional thoroughness, and (3) a total commitment to integrity. In today's litigious world, it can be quite costly not to "get things done right.” An added bonus to us was that we found one of the nicest people we could imagine.”

John

"I was represented by Keith Staubus as an income beneficiary in a lawsuit with the trustee of a family trust. Utilizing the expertise of a forensic accountant and his own trust expertise, Keith was able to negotiate a judicial modification of the trust providing for the buyout of my income interest for a substantial lump sum payment out of the trust, resulting in a win-win situation for all of the parties. I highly recommend Staubus/Randall for any trust disputes and trust modification actions."

Kathy

"I have been a wealth management specialist and retirement plan consultant with the Dallas/Fort Worth financial community for over 20 years. I have engaged Ryan Randall to work with a number of my best clients over the years, including business owners, professionals and families. My clients always appreciate Ryan’s straightforward approach to estate planning, asset protection planning and business succession planning. He makes even the most sophisticated estate planning strategies understandable."

Larry

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