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How To Put A Home In A Trust In California? [3 Step Process]

Securing your home for your beneficiaries through a trust is a wise decision. Specifically if you want to save the beneficiaries from the years of the probate process. Some individuals don’t go for this option because they think it’s difficult and unsafe, which is not true.

Trust isn’t only safe but a way better option than the traditional will and probate process. Not to forget, a trust doesn’t require your beneficiaries to spend a lot of money on lawyers. All in all, it’s beneficial in all aspects. 

That’s why we’ve come up with this guide, which is all about how to put a home in a trust in California. We’ll break down the entire process in  three simple steps to make sure your family gets what they should without a lot of hassle.

Can I Put My House In A Trust In California?

Yes, you can put your house or any type of property, cash, or bank account in a trust in California as long as it’s yours. Once you transfer the home to a trust, the legal ownership right will go to the “trustee” and you’ll become the “grantor.”

A trustee is a person who manages the property and passes it to the beneficiaries according to your wishes after your death. What’s beneficial about a trust is there’s no need for a long legal court process. The trustee you select will transfer the property right to the nominees.

Is Legal Assistance Necessary When Putting Your Home In A Trust?

While it’s not mandatory to hire an estate lawyer to put a home in a trust, having one can be helpful for several reasons. A lawyer can provide valuable guidance and ensure all necessary steps are taken correctly. 

For example, transferring your home to someone else is a difficult process and requires your attention to detail. You first need to understand the law of the California states, then have to fund the trust accordingly, but your lawyer can do it for you easily. 

How Do I Put My Home In A Trust? Steps To Follow 

You can read the process of how you can put the home in trust in California below. We’ve explained all the steps in detail with clear guidelines, including information on different types of trusts. 

1. Choose The Types of Trust 

Before we go further into the details of starting a trust, it’s important to understand its types. There are many types of trust, but the main ones are two: revocable and irrevocable trust. Both types are different in terms of flexibility and control for the grantor. 

  • Revocable Trust: As the name suggests, revocable trust means you, as the grantor of the trust, can cancel the allocation of the property anytime during your life. You can also modify the trust document according to your wishes. 
  • Irrevocable Trust: In an irrevocable trust, the grantor has no right to amend, even if you’re still alive. If you want to modify anything, you must ask permission from the beneficiaries who own the assets. 

2. Create A Trust 

After selecting the type, you need to create a trust. It’s best to hire an experienced lawyer for this task. Otherwise, you can create documents with a free revocable living trust builder. Just make sure to add correct information and select the trustee carefully. 

  • Trustee: Anyone can be a trustee, including your family members, friends, lawyer, or someone you trust including you. If you decide to choose yourself as a trustee, you’ll be the legal owner of the house, and after you, the trustee position will go to the successor you nominated in your life. 
  • Beneficiaries: Decide the beneficiaries of your trust. As an owner of the home, you have a right to nominate anyone within your family or friends. You can even add the name of charity organizations. 
  • Define Terms: Make sure to define terms (only if you want). For example, you can add which child gets the house and when, like if they graduate or reach a specific age like 25, 30, etc. 
  • Sign Agreement: Consider all the points we’ve discussed above, including trustees and beneficiaries and create trust with the help of a lawyer. Afterward, sign the agreement to make it valid. 

3. Change The Home Ownership 

Once you create the trust, it’s time to change the home ownership. The process of putting your home in a trust is a bit difficult because every state has laws regarding the change of real estate ownership. 

According to California law, you must prepare a deed to transfer the right to your house to the trust. This deed should include all information like your name and to whom you want to transfer. You also need to pay the transfer fee to the local municipality office. 

Later on, sign the deed in the presence of a notary so the transfer of property can be recorded legally. After all of this process, your house will be transferred to the “trust,” and the legal owner will be the “trustee” you nominated. 

Conclusion

We’ve explained the process of how to put a home in a trust in California in detail. It’s not a difficult process especially if you have a good lawyer on your side. A lawyer will assist you in transferring your ownership rights of home and creating a trust. 

You can contact a trust attorney from our California Probate and Trust firm. We also offer free consultation calls. Just make sure to fill out the “request for free consultation form” on the website, and our team will promptly reach out to assist you.

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Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.

By Dustin MacFarlane

Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.