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CindiWass

Want to leave condo to a friend

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How should I go about leaving a condo to a friend? My husband and I have no children and we have a friend that has been very good to us, we have already told him we'd like to bequeath it to him, is there a form and what procedure should I take?

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20 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

is there a form and what procedure should I take?

 

The form is a will.

 

The procedure is probate.

 

Or, you can create a revocable living trust and deed the property into the trust, making him the trustee and the beneficiary of the trust.

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I suppose you could also consider re-deeding the property now to provide a life estate for yourselves and naming Friend as a remainderman.

 

A will is probably the easiest and least expensive method to use to achieve your purpose.

A will is also probably the easiest and least expensive to undo or revise in case things change (e.g., if 2 years from now you and Friend have a major falling out).

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54 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

How should I go about leaving a condo to a friend?

 

There are a number of ways to accomplish this result (including those mentioned in the prior responses).  Figuring out which one is best for you is not something that anonymous strangers on the internet can do intelligently.  You should speak with an estate planning attorney.

 

 

55 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

My husband and I have no children. . . .

 

That you are married will or may complicate this.  Depending on the laws of your unidentified state and how the condo is titled, you may not be able to do this without your husband agreeing in writing.  Or, maybe, when you wrote, "How should I go about leaving a condo," you meant to write, "How should my husband and I go about leaving a condo"?

 

 

36 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

The procedure is probate.

 

The OP asked, "what procedure should I take."  Probate is not a procedure that the OP can take since probate wouldn't occur until after the OP dies.

 

 

26 minutes ago, MiddlePart said:

A will is also probably the easiest and least expensive to undo or revise in case things change

 

I disagree with this, but the fact that granting a life estate cannot be undone is is why that suggestion is a probably a terrible one.

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47 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

The OP asked, "what procedure should I take."  Probate is not a procedure that the OP can take since probate wouldn't occur until after the OP dies.

 

I'm going to have to start labeling my comments when I'm being facetious. :P

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Yes, well, I don't want the beneficiary to have to go through probate.  My husband is in complete agreement with this. So yes, it is my husband and I, not me by myself. And so now I want to ask: what is a trust, and would it be beneficial for me to put it in trust, and what does it mean? At first I wanted to leave it to a charitable organization but the condo management told me I cannot do that. I have to leave it to a person.

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By procedure, I meant what form of will should I take, how can I write it up? And yes, I'm willing to take suggestions because I don't want to make any mistakes. But I really must get this done asap, because one never knows when one will die. The sooner I can get this done, the better. Yes, I want to save money by not going to a lawyer. We don't have that much, but want to clear things up before the "state" gets it.

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9 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

By procedure, I meant what form of will should I take, how can I write it up? And yes, I'm willing to take suggestions because I don't want to make any mistakes.

 

9 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

Yes, I want to save money by not going to a lawyer

 

You might save some cash now by trying to do this yourself, but if you don't do it correctly, it will be a problem for your intended beneficiary when the time comes and, necessarily, you won't be available to help fix the problem.  And then money will be need to be spent and problems will be encountered that likely could have been avoided by spending a few bucks now.

 

Having a lawyer draft a will for you, especially if you don't have lots of assets or complicated plans, isn't likely to be as expensive as you seem to think it will be.  And could save money in the long run.

 

13 minutes ago, CindiWass said:

And so now I want to ask: what is a trust, and would it be beneficial for me to put it in trust, and what does it mean?

 

Further indication that engaging a lawyer would be a really good idea.

The people who post on these message boards can explain, at least generally, what a trust is, but whether it is a good idea for you in your particular circumstances is really beyond the scope of what these message boards can provide. Creating the trust is also not a good DIY exercise -- using a lawyer is the best way to go for that.

 

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1 hour ago, CindiWass said:

I don't want the beneficiary to have to go through probate.

 

Then that rules out using a will.

 

 

1 hour ago, CindiWass said:

what is a trust

 

A trust is a legal mechanism whereby on party (the trustor or settlor) transfers property to another (the trustee) to hold for the benefit of another (the beneficiary).  You can google for a longer explanation, but I'll tell you that, in the typical estate planning trust, the trustor, trustee and beneficiary are initially the same person.  Once that person dies, someone takes his/her place as successor trustee, and someone else will be beneficiary.  For example, in your case, you and your husband would initially be the trustors, co-trustees and beneficiaries.  When you are both dead, someone else will be trustee, and your friend will be the beneficiary (it would be possible for your friend also to be the successor trustee).

 

 

1 hour ago, CindiWass said:

would it be beneficial for me to put it in trust, and what does it mean?

 

Anonymous strangers on the internet have no idea what would or wouldn't be beneficial to you.  Discuss this with a local estate planning attorney.

 

 

1 hour ago, CindiWass said:

By procedure, I meant what form of will should I take, how can I write it up? . . .  Yes, I want to save money by not going to a lawyer.

 

There are online services that will create a trust for you.  I have no comment on the quality except that "you get what you pay for" is often true.

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