Can I put my name on a house that's still in a trust?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 07, 2016
Kl3378443 asked...

Dad has left me his house in his will. Can I put my name on it in trust so I don't have to pay taxes or get credited with a second home so nobody can take the house away? How do I put my name on it now in trust to protect myself from somebody like a nursing home from taking the house away from me? Do I need to pay a lawyer or can I go to the bank who has his mortgage and have them put my name on it? How do I do this?

Expert Answers

As far as I know, you do not become the legal owner of the house left to you by your dad's will until that will has gone through probate court proceedings and a judge has officially approved the transfer of that house to you. I know of nothing you can do now, before probate has been concluded, to protect the house from possible claims by your father's creditors.

Generally, putting property into a trust does not shield that property from one's creditors. If you set up a bona fide irrevocable trust and transfer property to it, that trust property is free from attack by your creditors. BUT (1) the trust must be irrevocable, which means it cannot be changed, or later revoked. More significantly, the trust cannot have been created for the purpose of evading creditors. That's what "bona fide" means"”there must have been a valid purpose for the trust. Evading creditors is not a valid purpose.