There are a number of issues to consider, according to nj.com’s recent article titled “I want to revoke a trust on my house. What do I do?” To revoke a trust on a house, you will need the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.
The answer to a question about how to get out of a trust on a home is going to be in the terms of the trust itself. However, if the terms of the trust are silent, the answer may be found in the trust laws in the state statutes.
However, if answering the question in general terms, the primary concern is whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable. If the trust is irrevocable, it means that the house can’t be removed from the trust. The exception to this rule is with a court order. Obtaining court approval can be very expensive and time-consuming. In addition, there’s no guarantee you’ll get that approval because courts frequently deny the requests depending on the facts of the case.
The first step is to determine whether the trust is revocable. You will then need to see who you are in relation to the trust.
Without a court order, the only person (or entity) who the trustee can sign a deed transferring a house that’s owned by a trust is the trustee.
The trust is set up to be managed by the trustee, rather than by any of the beneficiaries of the trust. Thus, for any change in the status of the house to occur, the trustee has to be in agreement that this should be done.
Next, let’s look at the reason why the home was initially put in a trust.
If the purpose was to lower estate taxes, it may make sense to remove the house from the trust. This is especially the case if the state no longer has an estate tax, like New Jersey which just got rid of theirs a few years ago, or if there was never any state estate tax. An estate rarely meets the threshold for federal estate taxes.
However, if the house was put in the trust for purposes of asset protection as part of a long-term care plan, there aren’t many good reasons to take the house out of trust. The trust can sell the house and hold onto the proceeds or purchase another house without jeopardizing the asset protection plan.
Reference: nj.com (Feb. 4, 2020) “I want to revoke a trust on my house. What do I do?”