Can I add a second person to my deed? 22 Answers as of October 25, 2013

I am thinking about adding someone to my deed on my house. Can it be done? Advise how. I would like to know the risk and benefits of doing so. Thank you.

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Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
You can file a quit claim deed adding the person's name. Or, you can file a beneficiary deed. The person won't get the property until you die.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/25/2013
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
Yes, you write, deliver and record a deed to yourself and whomever. Why would you want to do this? Is it because you want to prepare and file a gift tax return? Is it because you want to risk losing the house to the other person's creditors? Is it because you want the property tax assessment to be changed?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/12/2013
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, yes, one may gift an interest in one's property through joint title. One needs to execute and record a new deed to show the new joint ownership. Some risks include potential joint liability and gift tax [reporting] issues, and some benefits include potential probate avoidance of the asset when one joint owner dies, and the satisfaction of seeing someone enjoy the gift during the one's lifetime.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 9/12/2013
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
You need to review your loan documents, i.e., promissory note and mortgage/deed of trust to determine if there is a due on sale clause. If there is you may run afoul of it. you should have your paperwork reviewed by an attorney if you are unsure. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/12/2013
Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
Yes. That can be done. The main risk would be that the person you add to the title gets into financial trouble, and creditors take the house.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 9/12/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    As long as there is no outstanding mortgage on the property, placing someone else's name on a person's deed is relatively simple (A bank holding a mortgage on the property will not usually permit partial ownership to another person). There are three main types of ownership in Pennsylvania: a) tenancy by the entireties (husband & wife ownership); b ) tenancy -in-common; c ) joint tenancy with right of survivorship . In tenancy by the entireties both parties own the property as one person. Neither spouse can mortgage, sell or otherwise sever their interest without the consent of the other. Upon the death of one spouse the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner of the property. In joint tenancy with right of survivorship each party owns an equal share of the property (two owners = 50%; four = 25%). Any party is free to sell, mortgage, convey or encumber their interest and a judgment against one of the parties can be enforced by selling the property and applying that owner's share of the proceeds toward the satisfaction of the judgment (something that cannot be done with tenancy by the entire-ties). Upon death of one tenant their share goes to the surviving owners automatically. With tenancy -in-common owners can own the property in different percentages of ownership (50-50; 75-25). Each owner can sell, mortgage, convey or otherwise encumber their interest and a judgment against one of the owners can be enforced against the property in much the same way as with joint tenancy . Upon the death of an owner, that person's share goes to his estate, in lieu of the surviving owners, to be distributed either according to the rules of intestate descent, if there is no will involved, or by the terms of the will. In all of these cases, the original owner loses some control over the enjoyment and disposition of the property and that could be problematic if there is a change in the relationship of the owners.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It's usually not a good idea. Don't think of this as "adding someone to my deed." What you are doing is giving someone part ownership of your home. That person then has all the rights of an owner you cannot change this later without that person's agreement. You have to consider gift taxes (at least filing a return). If you make gifts, and you later need benefits for long term care, the gifts may disqualify you. If the part owner has tax problems, credit problems, then you end up with liens on your home or it gets foreclosed. BTW, if you have a mortgage on the home, mortgages always have a "due on sale" clause. You cannot give away part of the home, or sell it, without paying off the mortgage. Bottom line, though, is, "why?" There is no sensible reason to do this. If you want the person to have the home when you pass away, make a will. If you are concerned about incapacity, give someone power of attorney (be VERY careful who). Maybe one in 100 times do I see a situation where giving someone a part interest in the home is the sensible course of action. Most times, it turns into an expensive mess.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    You can add another person to your deed. As long as you don't remove yourself from the deed you won't risk your homestead exemption. Recording the updated deed in the public records in which the property is located will accomplish the task.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Yes, this can easily be done. It needs to be done properly to avoid having potential problems. If this is set up correctly through an estate planning attorney, there are no risks. The benefit would be having the person you want to receive the property get it, without having to go through probate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    Here in Missouri, if you wish for that person to get your house upon your death, then do a beneficiary deed. This avoids probate of the house, but if you change your mind, you can revoke the beneficiary deed or sell the house without the consent of the person listed on the beneficiary deed. If you quit-claim the house to yourself and another person, then you cannot sell the house without their consent and you cannot revoke the quit-claim deed.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Yes, you can add a person to your deed. Obtain a blank deed and deed a share to your person. Be careful as these documents have long term consequences; you are advised to seek the consultation of a estate planning lawyer; an improper titling will cost your person significantly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You can add another party using a Quit Claim Deed. By doing so, you give up part of your rights to the property. So, if you sell the property at a later date, the individual would get part of the proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    You need to meet with an attorney to go over the risks and benefits. They depend upon your specific situation and who you want to add to the deed and why. Generally it is not advisable and better to do an estate plan gifting the property to the person you want to have it after you are gone.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Nolan Stewart, PC
    Nolan Stewart, PC | William G. Nolan
    I advise you to make an appointment with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Yes you can. However before you do so, consult with an attorney specializing in estate planning.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/10/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Adding someone to your title is as simple as executing a deed and recording that deed. Since I do not know what is motivating you to add a person, I can't comment upon the effectiveness of you doing so. There are, however, potential drawbacks. 1. You can no longer deal with the property without the cooperation of the other party. 2. If the other party has marital or creditor problems, this can affect title to the interest created for the other party. You need to consult with an attorney who has access to substantially more information than you have provided.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
    Yes, by quit claim deed, it is simple to add a joint owner. By adding an owner, there are increased risks. For example, if the person you add is sued for a debt, the joint ownership property becomes vulnerable to such claims. It is an obvious risk of ownership.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    Yes, but you should consult with an attorney first. There may be other options.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
    If you add a second person to your deed then you are opening up your property to that person's creditors, divorce, etc. If the reason you are adding a person is to avoid probate, then you can do so by a transfer on death affidavit and not have to add this person to your deed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Doland & Fraade | Michael Doland
    Of course. "You" prepare a deed from yourself to yourself+someone. The reason you need help is deciding, "as tenants in common", or a "Joint tenants" or in some other form. The risks and benefits are dependent on your factual situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    You can convey an interest in your house to another person if that is your desire. Please be aware that once added, you can not remove them from their ownership interest. The type of interest that you convey is material to your continuing rights. Seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/12/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Sure, you just make a new deed to you and the other person as either joint tenants (right of survivorship), tenant in common (no right of survivorship) or spouse (maybe a right of survivorship depending on a number of factors). The problem with that is once you add them, you cannot get rid of them unless they agree.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/12/2013
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