Isn't it funny that whenever a community is built, that the word "estates" seems to apply? Even when the neighborhood doesn't look like an estate-worthy neighborhood. In fact, most residents of a trailer park would find it hard to believe that they have an estate at all. Do they? Of course they do, and there's a need to protect it. In fact, depending on the neighborhood there may be more of a need for estate planning than if they lived in what most of us imagine as "estates".
When a person creates a revocable trust for themselves, federal law allows them to transfer their residence into the trust. This helps to avoid the probate process because it can then transfer directly instead of through the court process. By transferring your interest into a trust, you also can sometimes avoid the changes in contractual terms from a community or the re-valuation of property taxes on a home because the ownership can possibly still be kept in trust rather than transferred. Since terms weren't renegotiated when the home went into the trust (and indeed could not be) those terms stay the same afterwards as long as the ownership stays the same. Depending on the circumstances this could avoid substantial increases in rent or in property taxes.
While having a small estate consisting of a modest home or even a trailer or mobile home may seem like a reason to avoid going through the time and expense of planning, it could actually be the opposite. It could save what little value is there and it can often avoid family disputes over what is left behind. One of our most difficult planning sessions was with a family who's parents had lived in a trailer their whole lives. When mom and dad decided to plan their estate, they invited all five children to be present so that they all knew what was to happen and that there would be no fighting after they died. We saw a glimpse that day of how horrible things could have been without a proper plan. There in their parent's trailer in front of them and their attorney, the children shouted at each other, placed blame, and pointed fingers- all trying to convince mom and dad that they deserved more than their siblings. It was unbelievable! And all this over a trailer worth maybe a total of $40,000 and a few personal belongings.
So, what is the moral of the story? Nobody is exempt from the need to plan, no matter how small or modest your home might be. A little bit of planning can go a long way in keeping the peace and in maintaining what value you have even when it doesn't seem like there is much to go around. If you need to plan for your mobile home or trailer, We can help! Contact us at 801-477-1570. Let us Earn Your Family's Trust!