Many people have adopted the snowbird lifestyle. They choose which weather
conditions they prefer and spend part of the year in a house they own
in one state (for instance, the summer) and the other part of the year
in a house they own in another state (for instance, the winter).
When you own real estate in more than one state, avoiding probate becomes
an important consideration in putting your estate plan together. This
is because when you die, in most cases, a probate will have to be opened
in each state where you own real estate in order to pass title to that
real estate to your beneficiaries. The primary probate will be in the
state in which you had your domicile (your primary residence) and the
secondary probate will be in the other state.
When you have to open a probate in multiple states, the cost can really
start to add up. If however, instead of owning the real estate in your
name, you instead put the real estate into a revocable living trust, then
the real estate title could pass to your beneficiaries at your death through
the terms of the trust, rather than through probate. This would save you
the cost of opening probate in multiple states.
So, if you have adopted the snowbird lifestyle and own real estate in more
than one state, you will want to discuss with an estate planning attorney
whether a revocable living trust is something that makes sense for you
and your estate plan.