Austin Texas Estate Planning Blog

Transferring Real Estate to Children

Transferring Real Estate to Children

April 3, 2023 • | Law Office of Zachary D Kamykowski, PLLC
For many parents, transferring real estate to their children is an important part of their estate planning process. There are several ways that parents can do this, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Estate planning is crucial in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes while providing security for your loved ones. One common area of estate planning involves transferring real estate properties to your children. Urban Turf's recent article "How Can Parents Transfer Real Estate to Their Children?" looks at some common ways parents transfer real estate to children. This blog post will explore five popular methods for transferring real estate to your children and discuss each approach's benefits and potential drawbacks.


A gift is one of the most straightforward ways for parents to transfer real estate to their children. In this scenario, the parents transfer property ownership without exchanging money. While this does not involve any tax implications for the children, it may trigger a gift tax for the parents if the property's value exceeds the annual gift tax exclusion limit. However, this method allows for a smooth and hassle-free transfer of ownership.


Sometimes, parents may choose to transfer real estate to children by selling their property to their children at a reduced price or with a low-interest rate mortgage. This approach can benefit both parties because the parents can receive some financial compensation for the property, and the children can acquire the property at a lower cost. However, selling the property may result in capital gains tax implications for the parents, so it's essential to consult with a tax professional before proceeding with this method.


Another popular method for transferring real estate to children is establishing a trust. Trusts can provide tax benefits for parents and their children and allow parents to maintain control over the property until their children meet specified conditions. Parents create a trust holding the property, with the children named beneficiaries. The trust can be structured to let the children receive income from the property, or they can receive the property outright at a specified time.

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Joint Ownership:

Joint ownership involves adding the children's names to the property title, making them co-owners alongside the parents. This method provides several benefits, such as avoiding probate, which can be lengthy and costly. Joint ownership also creates a seamless transfer of ownership in the event of the parents' deaths. However, joint ownership may also result in the property being subject to the children's creditors, which could put the property at risk.

Life Estate:

A life estate allows parents to transfer property ownership to their children while reserving the right to live on the property until their death. This arrangement lets parents maintain ownership and control of the property during their lifetime, ensuring they have a place to live while guaranteeing that the property will eventually pass to their children. Life estates can effectively avoid probate and reduce estate taxes, but they may limit the parents' ability to sell or refinance the property.


Transferring real estate to children is an essential aspect of estate planning that requires careful consideration of various methods and potential tax implications. Consulting with an Austin estate planning attorney can help you make the best decisions for your family's unique circumstances. By planning and preparing, you can secure your legacy and protect your loved ones for years to come.

Reference: Urban Turf (March 13, 2023) "How Can Parents Transfer Real Estate to Their Children?"

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