How do I create a “right of survivorship” for my partner?
We are an unmarried couple and I am preparing to write a will. I own the residence in Ipswich where we live and I’d like to create a kind of “right of survivorship” for my partner, in order to avoid probate. I would also like to be able to make changes if our circumstances/relationship changes. How do I proceed?
Your goal seems to be how to best hold title to your residence so it avoids probate and includes your partner should you still be with that partner at the time of your death.
One option to avoid probate is to retitle the property into a joint tenant with rights of survivorship status. This is done by way of a quitclaim deed. When one person dies, the property will pass to the other by operation of law outside of your estate and bypass your will. However, once conveyed this way, the title cannot generally be changed; the property cannot be encumbered or conveyed without permission of both parties. Since you wish to be able to reverse or change the conveyance, this option won’t work for you.
Another other option to avoid probate is to convey the property to a revocable trust. In this case, if you are the grantor and trustee you may change the beneficiary while you are alive. So, if you no longer wish to have your partner listed as beneficiary, you may make that change.
It is best to consult an Estate Planning Attorney or Real Estate Attorney before proceeding with this important matter.
Ipswich Estate Planning Attorneys at Baron Law & Mediation provide legal services to individuals and families in Ipswich, Massachusetts and the nearby communities including: Tewksbury, Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Topsfield and North Reading.
Baron Law & Mediation, LLP
Ispwich Estate Planning Attorneys
800 Turnpike Street, Suite 300
North Andover, MA 01845