Refinancing Your Home – The Biggest Threat to Your Living Trust

Jun 6, 2017
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Is Your Home Properly Titled to Your Living Trust After You Refinance?

a living trust will protect your assetsFor most people their most valuable asset is their home. Ensuring that your home and the rest of your estate passes efficiently to your heirs is a fundamental reason people create a Living Trust.

Most people recognize they must transfer title to their home to their Trust as soon as the Trust is created. Unfortunately, most of us do not have our home paid off. During the recent years of low interest rates many of us have taken advantage of low rates by refinancing. In doing so, many people have put their homes and Living Trust in jeopardy.

The reason being, a lot of lenders are still requiring you to take the title of your property out of your Trust and into your name as a condition of the refinance. Often people mistakenly think this is a mere formality and assume that the lender will put their home back into their Trust when the loan is completed. For the most part, the lenders do not!

The result is you believe your home is safely in your Trust, but when you die, the house ends up going through probate and funds may not be available to pay the mortgage, property taxes and insurance.

There are a few ways you can make sure your property is still in, or back in your Trust.

  1. Ask your lender if they recorded a deed for you placing your property back in your Living Trust, and ask for a copy of that recorded deed.
  2. Check your property tax statements since the refinance took place. Does the property owner on the tax bill indicate a Trust, or does it merely list your name(s)?  Beware, your property tax bills only come out once per year with a voucher for both installments. You may not know for up to a year just by looking at the tax bill, so this might not be the most reliable indicator.
  3. Call the County Recorder's Office and give them the property parcel number or assessor's parcel number and ask who the titled owner is.
  4. Call AmeriEstate, and for a small fee we can pull the current deed of record and provide you with a copy.