Buying (and living in) a Coop can be a pain: Coop Boards dictate whether you can have pets, children tenants, hard wood floors, and when you pay increased maintenance and “special assessments.” They also decide whether or not you can place your Coop “In Trust,” thereby avoiding it passing through Probate via your Will when you pass away.
First, the Coop’s legal counsel will want to review your Trust, often for about the cost you paid to draft it. They may require modifications and ask your beneficiaries to assume any future liabilities that may be assessed. You will then need to transfer the Coop shares for an additional cost, and produce your original Shares Certificate and Proprietary Lease (or otherwise be assessed a fee.).
In a perfect world everyone would have a Revocable Trust and place all property in its name (i.e. the Shares Certificate will now be owned by the “Daniel Timins Revocable Trust”). In reality, it’s determined by individual situation. If you have a properly executed Power of Attorney you may not need a Trust, since the former is enough to handle your living affairs and the latter is based on your beneficiaries saving money.
The following questions should guide you:
- Do I want to spend money to have a Trust drafted and reviewed later, or do I want to keep my money and leave this to my beneficiaries?
- Are my beneficiaries my primary focus, or am I?
- Do I have enough money to spend on this right now?
- Is a Trust even the right choice for me?
If your answers reflect an interest in your own needs, consider saving money and time by keeping the Coop in your name instead of transferring it to your Trust.