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William Rambaum, PA Clearwater & Oldsmar Elder Law Attorney

Is it better to transfer my house and/or other assets to my children during my lifetime to avoid probate?

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This is a question that comes up all the time and a lot of people have already done it by the time they come to my office. I definitely never recommend doing that for a lot of reasons. Number one, in Florida, if you do that you’re going to lose your homestead exemption. You may get an immediate increase in your taxes because the taxes might have been kept down by what is called the 3% save our homes CAP and that would be gone. It will no longer be restricted tax-wise to a limit of 3% increase per year, which means it could go up 8 or 10% a year. You don’t want to do that.

But worst of all of that, is if you’ve transferred the ownership and your children don’t live in the house and they get sued or they file bankruptcy or they go through a divorce, you could very well lose your house or have to spend a lot of money to maintain that house.

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