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Estate Planning for Real Estate

Estate planning for real estate is an important aspect of creating a comprehensive estate plan. As an experienced Folsom estate planning lawyer, I have found that for most of my clients, a significant portion of their net worth is in real estate. Real estate, whether it’s a primary residence, vacation property, or investment property, often represents a significant part of this net wealth. Proper estate planning for real estate can help ensure that your property is passed on to your chosen beneficiaries, minimize tax liabilities, and protect your family’s financial interests. Here are some key considerations for estate planning with real estate:

  1. Will: In your last will and testament, you can specify how your real estate assets should be distributed among your beneficiaries. You can name specific individuals or entities as recipients of the property. If you have minor children, you can also designate a guardian for them in your will.
  2. Trusts: Trusts are often used in estate planning to hold and manage real estate assets. A revocable living trust, for example, can help avoid probate and provide a structured way to pass on the property to your beneficiaries. Irrevocable trusts can be used for specific purposes like minimizing estate taxes or providing for the care of loved ones.
  3. Transfer on Death Deeds: Some jurisdictions allow for the creation of a beneficiary deed (also known as a transfer-on-death deed) for real estate. This deed allows you to name a beneficiary who will automatically inherit the property upon your death without going through probate. In California, the laws and practicalities surrounding such deeds are complicated, so they are best avoided unless prepared by an experienced estate planning lawyer or real estate lawyer. 
  4. Ownership Structure: Consider the ownership structure of the property. Whether you own the property solely, jointly, or through a business entity can impact how the property is transferred after your passing.
  5. Gifting: If you want to pass on real estate to beneficiaries during your lifetime, you can consider gifting strategies. Gifts may have tax implications, so it’s important to understand the gift tax rules and exemptions.
  6. Life Estate: A life estate is a legal arrangement that allows you to retain the right to live in or use a property for the duration of your life while designating a remainder beneficiary who will inherit the property after your passing.
  7. Consider Tax Implications: Real estate can have tax implications, including property taxes, capital gains taxes, and potential estate taxes. Estate planning should consider these taxes and strategies to minimize them.
  8. Debt on Real Estate: If you have outstanding mortgages or loans secured by the real estate, it’s important to address how these debts will be managed and paid upon your passing.
  9. Maintenance and Management: Consider how the property will be maintained and managed after your passing. This is especially important for rental properties or properties with ongoing expenses.
  10. Regular Updates: Keep your estate plan up to date. As property values change or as your family situation evolves, you may need to revise your estate plan to ensure it reflects your current wishes and circumstances.


Estate planning for real estate can be complex, but it’s crucial for preserving your legacy and protecting your loved ones. A well-thought-out plan can help avoid family disputes and provide financial security for your beneficiaries. It is recommended for you to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney in Folsom who understands the complexities of real estate and the legal requirements. They can help you create a plan that aligns with your specific needs and goals. If you have any questions about estate planning for real estate, contact Thapar Law at 916-579-0605 or send us a message.

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Karn was absolutely amazing in helping our family’s estate planning. So professional and made the process so easy. A hell of a guy!!!

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Karn is very easy to talk to! Professional, responsive, very engaging, explains the processes. Very honest World class Attorney!!

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Karn was recommended to me by a friend who had worked with him in the past. He took the time to walk me through the estate planning process, addressed my many questions and at no point made me feel pressured to...

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