Right now, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills and several other cities in Orange County are experiencing record highs in real estate prices. But some homeowners don't even know they are at risk because they are holding title to these homes in their own name.
Many people think if they have a Will they will somehow avoid going to Probate Court with their real estate. Nothing could be further from the truth as all Wills must go to Probate Court to be read and validated. The only way you can effortlessly and without cost transfer your home to a loved one is by using the living trust.
You could add people to the title but if you're not married you just created a gift tax and capital gains tax ticking time-bomb that is going to leave someone with a lot of financial hardship in the future. Then you take on the effects of Proposition 19 and your home will probably have to be sold but even if that is your goal why would you leave your loved ones with a $46,000 dollar bill? Yes, that's the average cost of a Probate on a million-dollar home (other fees would also apply). With some many homes in Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel there simply is no reason not to get a consult on how to avoid that for others.
Don't leave things to others with a price tag wrapped around it. Always take the price tag off and this can be done by planning your estate and using proper legal documents.