Funding the trust with out-of-state property.

Imagine your primary residence is in the state of California. But you also have a second home in Idaho and a piece of unimproved land in Nevada. Your California lawyer created a trust-based estate plan and funded your primary residence into the trust. You want to make sure your Idaho and Nevada properties are included in the trust. What should you do?  

Steps for Funding the Trust with Out-of-State Property.

  1. Determine if your California lawyer is admitted to practice in Idaho, Nevada, or if anyone in the firm is admitted to practice in those jurisdictions.
  2. If so, they can handle preparing the deeds to those properties. 
  3. But what if neither you nor anyone in your firm can practice law in those states, then what? Your California lawyer might still be able to handle the funding. Many states allow ancillary probate proceedings where an executor was appointed in the decedent’s primary state of residence. This might allow the California attorney to handle ancillary probate proceedings where additional property owned by you is located in another state. To understand whether your California based attorney can do that requires an understanding of the rules of Idaho and Nevada. Not only will state rules apply, but the county where the property is located has its own set of rules.  
  4. An alternative is to secure an Idaho attorney to handle recording the property in Blaine County, Idaho and a Nevada lawyer to handle the property in Clark County, Nevada.

What You Need to Have Ready for the Lawyer.

  1. Copy of the deeds for all the properties. If you cannot find the deed, you can request a copy from the title company that handled the closing or the mortgage company that handled any refinance you might have done.
  2. If the deeds are not available, you can also provide the lawyer with the APN (parcel number) located on a property tax statement.
  3. If you own the property with someone else, be prepared to let the lawyer know who you co-own the property with and exactly how title is held e.g., joint tenancy, joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, community property. Don’t assume you know, look at the documents.
  4. If the lawyer handling property in another state, make sure they know the exact way title will he held.

Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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