Mobile homes may or may not go through probate. The Probate Code makes an exception for mobile homes in Section 6110, which states that the home itself is not subject to the jurisdiction of the probate court, provided it is owned by a single person.
However, any personal property inside your home likely will go through probate unless you transfer it into joint tenancy with someone else at least one half of what was given to them must be included in your taxable estate for federal inheritance taxes.
If you own the mobile home as community property with your spouse, both halves are considered separate property and do not have to be divided between yourself and your spouse upon death.
Similarly, if the entire value of your community property passes to your spouse at your death, there is no federal tax liability.
If you own the home as community property with someone other than your spouse, both halves are considered the separate property of that person upon death and do not have to be divided between yourself and that person upon death.
If you own the mobile home as joint tenants in common with anyone other than your spouse, all interest must be included in your taxable estate for federal inheritance taxes.
The value of your land does not go through probate; only what is on the land goes through probate if it is subject to probate.
A transfer-on-death (TOD) deed can help avoid this requirement because transfer on death deeds go directly into effect when the grantor dies (You (the grantor) state that at your death, you want the property to be transferred to the beneficiary.)
However, if additional probate is necessary due to lack of other assets or insurance benefits, it may be necessary for your heirs also to file a Petition in Probate Court.
Another reason you might hear of people wanting a mobile home put in someone else’s name is so they can take advantage of their survivor equity provisions. The owner still has full title and possession of the home until they die, but on their death, the value of the home is discounted.
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When a property has been paid off, the holder can’t sell it because there is no equity in it anymore.
The only way they can still cash in on any equity they have built up over time is by transferring title to somebody else for about 30 days and then back to themselves again.
However, this deed needs to be done correctly so that upon transfer back into your name at least one half of what was given would not go through probate since you are still living.
This transaction could be considered fraudulent by creditors if not executed properly. Your attorney can assist you with these types of transfers or transactions because there are specific requirements that need to be met to pass title without going through probate.
Relevant Topic: Mobile Home Tax Calculator
It’s important to note that if a person dies estate (I devise.., with a will) and has a, they can avoid probate of the home by giving it away to someone else by will or trust during their lifetime. This avoids any problems that might occur from using a transfer on a deadly deed.
If you have additional questions about how your mobile home may go through probate, seek the legal advice of an attorney who specializes in this area of law.
Note: If there is no Will, then Probate Court decides who gets what under intestacy laws. No matter how much or little you own in assets, the State will decide who gets what, and how it is divided up.