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Should I put my adult child on the deed to my home?

| Sep 23, 2020 | Estate Planning

A major driving force behind estate planning is avoiding probate. Probate can be very time-consuming and expensive for your heirs. Not to mention, if your assets are in probate, your heirs cannot access those assets if they are in need.

Doing as much as you can to avoid probate is usually wise. However, not all strategies are equal. For example, many estate planners consider putting the name of an adult child on the deed to their home in a quest to avoid probate. However, this almost always causes more problems than it solves, as per InCharge Debt Solutions.

How can putting my adult child on the deed to my home avoid probate?

People who consider this strategy are relying on the benefits of joint tenancy. If you own a property in joint tenancy with others, this means that upon your death the property will automatically go to the surviving owners. The theory here is that once you die the property belongs to your child with no probate involved.

Why is this not a good idea?

Putting your adult child on the deed to your home makes that child an equal owner of the property right away. You do not have any additional benefits for being the “original” owner.

This means that if your child gets married, it is possible that the law will consider your home as part of joint marital property. If your child divorces, you may end up with the child’s ex-spouse with a stake in the home.A superior option to put in your child’s name on the deed to your property is to create a revocable living trust.