Many of my clients live in a Manufactured Home. They are concerned about how to avoid Probate if the home is not titled jointly. Probate is certain to be required if you are not leaving the home to your spouse, all children equally, or if your children cannot amicably agree among themselves upon a division of this asset. You will also need a Probate if your estate has any debts.
A solution for this problems is to put your Manufactured Home in a Revocable Living Trust. First, of course, you must contact an attorney to create a trust for you if you do not already have one. Then, you must contact the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles to change the registration. There are forms to fill out and processing fees to pay, but the process is relatively easy and much less expensive than Probate.
If the Manufactured Home is your Homestead, you will not lose this valuable exemption simply by putting it in a Trust.
Also, sometimes the owner also owns the land underneath the Manufactured Home. If this is the case, then a deed will also need to be prepared and filed with the Clerk of Court. If you own the land, another option is to “retire” the title to the mobile home by filing certain documents with the Clerk of Court and the Department of Motor Vehicles. If this step is taken, the mobile home can be transferred by deed to the trust.
Taking the above steps will give you some peace of mind in protecting your beneficiaries from Probate. It will save your beneficiaries time and large legal fees, and allow for the smooth transitions of your assets