Completing your estate plan is an important step to ensuring that your assets are protected and bequeathed to those you choose. However, understanding how to leave your assets in your estate plan, specifically your Trust, can be confusing as there will be different guidelines for different assets. One asset in particular that you may be wondering about is your mobile home. The process of adding your mobile home to your Trust may vary depending on whether your mobile home is considered personal property or real estate.
Here at Trust & Will, we understand how frustrating it can be to not know how to add your mobile home to your Trust. This process can vary depending on your circumstances, as there are quite a few variables to consider. We hope to help reduce your stress by summarizing the process of adding your mobile home to your Trust while looking at different considerations that you will want to keep in mind.
Keep reading to learn the answers to the following questions:
What is a Trust?
Before delving into how to add your mobile home to a Trust, it will be important to understand what a Trust is to determine if leaving your mobile home in your Trust is the right option for you. A Trust is a legal arrangement that allows the Trust’s creator, also called the grantor, to take their assets out of their name and place them in the name of a Trust. A Trust is a form of asset protection that can keep one’s assets from being held up in a lengthy probate court process after the grantor’s death where it might otherwise be subject to expensive legal fees and taxation.
When setting up a Trust, you can name a trusted individual (yourself, a beneficiary, an attorney, or a financial representative), to be the appointed Trustee. Your Trustee, whether it is you or someone else, will be responsible for managing your assets until your death - at which time, your designated beneficiaries will take ownership of your assets, as specified in your Trust.
Many people do not realize that the grantor can name themself as the Trustee of their own Trust. This arrangement allows the grantor to maintain control of their assets and also draw money from it for their care and support while they are alive. Upon death, the Trust and its listed assets can pass seamlessly to the named beneficiaries.
Is my mobile home considered personal property or real estate?
To know what process you need to take to add your mobile home to your Trust, you first need to know if your mobile home is considered personal property or estate. Upon the purchase of a mobile home, it will be considered personal property and will require you to purchase a title to own the mobile home. However, your mobile home can be transferred into real estate depending on whether or not you own the property on which your mobile home resides.
If you do not own the land on which your mobile home is located and instead rent the property, or you travel around a lot and do not have a permanent location for your mobile home, your mobile home will be classified as personal property.
However, if you own both the mobile home and the land on which your mobile home resides and you stay there permanently, you can choose to combine your land and mobile home to make them into real estate. In order for your mobile home to be considered real estate, your mobile home needs to be in a permanent location. In order to do this, you will need to submit an application with your state to do so. It is also important to note that regardless of if your mobile home is considered personal property or real estate, you still need a title for your mobile home.
When making your mobile home real estate, it is crucial that you read up on your state’s specific laws and regulations on submitting an application to make the transfer. Each state will have its own set of requirements, and ensuring you are abiding by your state’s specific laws is crucial.
How do I add my mobile home to my Trust if it is considered personal property?
When your mobile home is considered personal property, you will transfer your mobile home into your Trust in the same way you would transfer other personal property assets to your Trust, such as a car. In order to transfer a mobile home to Trust, you will need the title of the mobile home to prove ownership. If you are not naming yourself as the Trustee of your Trust, you may need to transfer the title of your mobile home to the Trustee, as they will be maintaining responsibility for the mobile home going forward.
It is important to note that in some states, depending on the net worth of the mobile home, it can skip the probate court process entirely and therefore would not need to be put in a Trust to bypass the probate court process. This is why it will be important to read up on your state’s laws.
How do I add my mobile home to my Trust if it is considered real estate?
If your mobile home is considered real estate, it will be added to your Trust the same way other forms of real estate are added. This means that you will need all the paperwork and documents that prove it is real estate. Additionally, you will also need your mobile home title. With these documents, you will be able to add your mobile home to your Trust. If you have chosen someone else to be your Trustee, you may have to transfer the title and real estate over to them in the process.
Have more questions about estate planning when you own a mobile home? Be sure to check out the other articles in our mobile home series:
Deciding on the best way to add your mobile home to your estate plan may be challenging, but the process does not have to be. At Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement options today!
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