The title of an asset refers to the nature of its ownership. When you assume ownership of a home, business, bank account or any other asset, the title is typically in your own name.
Individual ownership gives you full control of an asset. However, your estate planning intentions might necessitate the re-titling of your assets for the sake of keeping your inheritance out of probate.
When you are ready to set up a trust
Revocable trusts are powerful estate planning tools that give you a great deal of control over the distribution of your assets. Trusts can also be highly effective at eliminating the need for your estate to go through probate, but only if you title your assets properly. For example, titling your home in your own name as well as that of your beneficiary will still necessitate that your share of the property goes through the probate process.
When a loved one enters a nursing home or becomes incapacitated
While it may not be a pleasant thing to think about, your loved one’s estate plan is an important thing to consider if their health takes a turn or if they suddenly require involved care. If your parent, spouse or other family member decides to grant you power of attorney over their estate, then the titling of their assets is a matter you should review. Make sure that all items of significance have appropriate titles aligned with the wishes your loved one outlines in their trust and other estate planning documents.
It seems like common sense to keep all assets titled in your own name while you are healthy and still in the process of enjoying your estate. However, neglecting to re-title assets appropriately can cause the time and money spent setting up a trust to go to waste.