How to Put House in Trust with Mortgage

How to Put a House in Trust with a Mortgage

Estate planning is an essential aspect of securing your family’s financial future. One of the most effective strategies in estate planning is putting your house in a trust, even if it has a mortgage. This guide will walk you through the process, benefits, and considerations involved in placing your mortgaged home into a trust, including how to put house in trust with mortgage effectively.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement where one party, known as the trustee, holds and manages property for the benefit of another party, the beneficiary. Trusts come in various forms, each serving different purposes:

  • Revocable Trusts: These can be altered or revoked by the grantor during their lifetime.
  • Irrevocable Trusts: Once established, these trusts cannot be changed or revoked.
  • Living Trusts: Created during the grantor’s lifetime, often used to manage assets during their lifetime and distribute them after death without going through probate.

Benefits of Having a Trust

Trusts offer numerous advantages, including asset protection, avoidance of probate, and enhanced privacy. They also allow for more control over how and when your assets are distributed after your death.

Understanding Mortgages and Trusts

A mortgage is a loan secured by the property itself, where the borrower agrees to pay back the loan over time with interest. When considering placing a mortgaged property in a trust, it’s crucial to understand how these two elements interact.

Compatibility of Mortgages with Trusts

Most mortgages can be placed in a trust, but it requires the lender’s approval since the property is collateral for the loan. The lender needs assurance that the mortgage terms will be honored.

Why Put a House in Trust?

Protection of Assets

Placing your house in a trust protects it from creditors and legal claims.

Avoidance of Probate

A significant advantage of trusts is bypassing the probate process, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Privacy and Control

Trusts offer greater privacy as they are not part of public records, unlike wills. They also provide detailed control over how and when your assets are distributed.

Types of Trusts for Property

Revocable Trusts

Revocable trusts allow you to retain control over the property during your lifetime and can be modified or revoked as needed.

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable trusts remove the property from your estate, providing tax benefits and protection from creditors but cannot be altered once established.

Living Trusts

Living trusts are effective immediately and can be used to manage your assets during your lifetime and distribute them upon death without probate.

Legal Considerations

Laws governing trusts vary by state, so it’s essential to consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance with local regulations. Proper documentation is also critical to establish and maintain the trust.

Steps to Putting a House in Trust with a Mortgage

Step 1: Consult with a Lawyer

Seek legal advice to understand the best type of trust for your situation and ensure all legal requirements are met.

Step 2: Choose the Right Type of Trust

Select a trust that aligns with your goals, whether it’s revocable, irrevocable, or a living trust.

Step 3: Draft the Trust Document

Work with your lawyer to create the trust document, specifying the terms and beneficiaries.

Step 4: Get Mortgage Lender Approval

Inform your mortgage lender of your intent to place the house in a trust and obtain their approval.

Step 5: Transfer the Property Title

Once the lender approves, transfer the property’s title to the trust, which may involve recording the transfer with your local county recorder.

Role of the Trustee


The trustee manages the property within the trust. Choosing a reliable trustee is crucial, as they are responsible for maintaining the property and ensuring the terms of the trust are followed.

Impact on Mortgage Terms

Placing a property in a trust might alter some mortgage terms. It’s essential to negotiate and confirm any changes with your lender to ensure the mortgage remains in good standing.

Tax Implications

Federal and State Tax Considerations

Trusts can have significant tax implications, both at the federal and state levels. Consult a tax professional to understand these implications fully.

Potential Tax Benefits

Certain types of trusts, like irrevocable trusts, can offer tax benefits by removing assets from your taxable estate.

Managing the Trust

Ongoing Management and Administration

The trustee is responsible for the ongoing management of the trust, which includes maintaining the property and adhering to the trust’s terms.

Trustee’s Duties and Reporting

Trustees must keep accurate records and provide reports to beneficiaries as required by the trust document.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Addressing Lender Concerns

Lenders may have concerns about the property being placed in a trust. Provide necessary assurances and documentation to satisfy their requirements.

Ensuring Compliance with State Laws

Work with a legal professional to ensure the trust complies with all state laws and regulations.


Putting a house in trust with a mortgage can provide numerous benefits, from protecting your assets to avoiding probate. It involves careful planning, legal guidance, and coordination with your mortgage lender. By understanding the process and potential challenges, you can make informed decisions that safeguard your estate and provide peace of mind for your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you put a house with a mortgage in an irrevocable trust?

Yes, but it requires careful planning and the lender’s consent, as irrevocable trusts cannot be altered once established.

2. What happens to the mortgage when the property is in a trust?

The mortgage remains in effect, and the trust assumes responsibility for payments. The terms might be renegotiated with the lender.

3. How does putting a house in a trust affect property taxes?

Property taxes are typically unaffected by the transfer to a trust but check with local tax authorities to be sure.

4. Is it possible to refinance a mortgage on a house in a trust?

Yes, refinancing is possible, but it requires the lender’s approval and might involve additional paperwork.

5. What are the costs associated with putting a house in a trust?

Costs include legal fees for drafting the trust, possible title transfer fees, and any fees charged by the mortgage lender.

For more information on filing liens on properties and managing legal aspects, read our comprehensive guide on How to File a Lien on a Property.

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