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Can Michigan residents transfer homes into revocable trusts?

Many Michigan residents employ trusts of all kinds to help implement and protect estate planning goals. But, there are still many people who don't know how a trust could help in their specific circumstances. A recent article demonstrated one particular estate planning goal that most people can identify with: preserving ownership of the family home.

As mentioned in the article, a revocable trust is a popular estate planning tool to ensure that the home as it is will be passed to the designated beneficiary of the planner's choice. But, even more important, the planner, even after setting up the trust and transferring the home and other assets into the trust, gets to keep using the house during their lifetime. The home and assets, as designated in the terms of the trust, will only pass in ownership after the planner's death.

That is the most direct and simply way of setting up a revocable trust for the transfer of the family home, but many people choose other options. Some will designate that the home is to be sold and the proceeds split between several parties, or others will even designate that the home is to transfer in ownership to a charitable organization to use as that organization sees fit.

Lastly, probably the most important and most appealing aspect of a revocable trust is there in the very name of the instrument: it is revocable. That means that if the person who establishes the trust at any time thereafter needs to make changes to the trust or cancel it altogether, that option remains available. This issue could come up if the planner decides to sell the home, or if the trust needs to be changed to include even more assets.

Source: savannahnow.com, "Revocable living trust can help protect your home," Richard Barid and Michael Smith, Dec. 25, 2013

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