Did You Transfer Your House to a TRUST in 2019?
As elder care estate planning attorneys we assist our clients with many different goals – avoiding probate, protecting assets from creditors, protecting assets and qualifying for veterans benefits and Medicaid. Often these plans require the transfer of a house to a trust. The different trusts we draft include revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts.
When a house is retitled into a trust, the legal owner has changed from the “individual” to the “trustee.” Often the individual and the trustee are the same person, but not always. Nevertheless, the court always treats them as “different” from a legal standpoint. THUS, if you transferred your personal residence to a trust in 2019, then you MUST PROACTIVLEY REFILE FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION NO LATER THAN APRIL 1, 2020 through your county and/or city property tax office. Otherwise, your property taxes will increase irrevocably for the year 2020 and cannot be reduced again until 2021.
When refiling for your homestead exemption (and any other tax reductions based on age, disability, etc.), you must complete the appropriate form provided by your property tax office (may also be available on-line through their website) and attach to it a copy of the trust that shows that you are a beneficiary of the trust with a right to live in the house.
My recommendation is that you do this in person. If you have any questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact the office. If you are on our annual maintenance plan, we will call the property tax office with you if necessary to ensure the filling is correct.