How to add a spouse to a deed

How to Add a Husband’s Name to the Deed or Leave the House to Him in a Will

If your husband is not listed on the deed to your home, you may wish to make him a joint owner. It’s possible to add your husband to the deed of your home. It’s also possible to leave the house to him in a will, but this may not be the best option.

How to add a spouse to a deed

Making Your Spouse a Joint Owner

The easiest way to make your husband a joint owner of your home is to change ownership using a deed. There are several ownership options when it comes to adding a spouse to a deed, but the best choice in this situation is to create a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This means you and your spouse are both owners and if one of you dies, the other maintains complete ownership of the property without doing anything to transfer ownership. It passes automatically. Some states have the option of tenancy by the entirety, which is similar to joint tenancy with right of survivorship. The only difference is tenants by the entirety both legally own the entire property, instead of each theoretically owning half.

Deed Transfers

The simplest way to add a spouse to a deed is through a quitclaim deed. This type of deed transfers whatever ownership rights you have so that you and your spouse now become joint owners. No title search or complex transaction is necessary. The deed will list you as the grantor and you and your spouse as grantees. The deed includes a legal description of the property, which you can copy from your existing deed. Complete the deed and sign it. File it in your country recorder’s office. Your state may require that an attorney draft the deed for you.

Transferring Property in a Will

Another option to transfer ownership of property is to use your will. If you wish to leave your house to your husband, you list him as a beneficiary and state that you are leaving the home to him. After your death, the will must go through probate, which is the legal process in which a will is validated and its provisions carried out. The probate process can take many months and there are fees associated with the process, as well as the cost of a probate attorney. Because of this, it is simpler and less expensive to simply add your spouse to your deed, rather than waiting to pass ownership of the property through your will.

Transferring Property at Death Without a Will

There are other ways you could transfer ownership of your home to your spouse. If you die without a will, your assets, including your home, will be distributed to your heirs according to your state’s intestacy laws. This method is not recommended because your assets are distributed according to what state law specifies, not in accordance with your wishes. Another option is to place your home in a trust and name your spouse as the beneficiary of the trust. The trust will then transfer ownership of the home to your spouse. Trusts can be a convenient and secure way to transfer ownership in a home, but setting up the trust is more expensive than simply doing a deed transfer.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

The Type of Deed You Create Can Make a Big Difference

How to add a spouse to a deed

Erik Dreyer / Getty Images

Holding ownership of property jointly with your children or another beneficiary is a common method used to avoid probate. The idea is that they’ll inherit the property from you automatically because they already “own” your property. It doesn’t become part of your probate estate because it passes directly to them by operation of law when you’re no longer alive to co-own the property with them. This can be an effective option if avoiding probate of your estate is your primary goal.  

Prepare a New Deed to Avoid Probate

Ideally, you won’t just “add” your child’s name to your existing deed. You’ll create a new deed with a group of owners, perhaps you, your spouse, and your child. You’ll become joint tenants with rights of survivorship.

If you simply add your child’s name to your existing deed, he won’t necessarily have rights of survivorship. He won’t automatically inherit your share of the property when you die. Adding the name only gives him an ownership interest in the house both currently and in the future, while your own ownership interest would still be subject to probate.

Creating a whole new deed with rights of survivorship sidesteps this problem. “Survivorship” means that when one owner dies, their share of the property shifts by law to the owner or owners who survive them.  

Consider Using an Attorney

You can purchase the appropriate software or a deed form from any office supply store or legal website to create a joint tenancy deed, but consider working with a local estate planning attorney or a real estate attorney instead.

One wrong word or a missing word on your joint tenancy deed can lead to probate of the property.

State laws can be very specific about how a deed must be worded to create rights of survivorship, and these forms and software aren’t always state-specific.

Beneficiary Deeds

A beneficiary deed, also sometimes called a transfer-on-death deed, might be an alternative to creating a deed with rights of survivorship if you live in a state that recognizes these instruments. About half of all states do, as well as the District of Columbia. The issue is not necessarily where you live—it might be a second or vacation home. The laws of the state where the property is physically located are those that prevail.

You’re not adding your child as a new owner of the property during your lifetime with this type of deed. Rather, he would receive your property only at your death. This can avoid a lot of potential problems that might crop up if you share ownership with him while you’re alive.  

You—or Your Estate—Might Owe a Gift Tax

As of 2020, when you give anyone anything that exceeds $15,000 in value, the Internal Revenue Service says it’s a taxable gift.   This includes creating a new deed that gives your child a current ownership interest in your home, assuming she doesn’t pay you fair market value in exchange.

File a federal gift tax return on IRS Form 709 to report the gift to the IRS if the share of the property is valued at more than $15,000.

The balance over $15,000 would be taxable—to you, not the recipient of the gift.

This $15,000 limit is known as the annual gift tax exclusion, and it’s indexed for inflation so that it can increase yearly. But a lifetime gift tax exemption is available as well. This exemption lets you avoid actually paying any gift tax on the transfer.  

The Unified Tax Credit

The gift tax and the estate tax share the same lifetime exemption—they’re “unified.” If you give away a lot of expensive property during your lifetime, filing Form 709 each time effectively shifts the balance over the annual exemption amount each year to your lifetime exemption.

Ultimately, this approach leaves less of an estate tax exemption to shelter your remaining assets from estate taxes when you die, but because the same credit shelters both the gift and your estate, that’s somewhat moot.  

That said, here’s a bit of good news:

The lifetime gift tax/estate tax exemption is $11.58 million per donor as of 2020.

That’s a lot of property. If you’re able to use a beneficiary deed, the estate tax involved with transferring the property that way would be covered by the same lifetime exemption. Keep in mind that assets that escape probate still contribute to your taxable estate for estate tax purposes.

Capital Gains Tax Issues

Your child will receive a step up in the tax basis of the home if it passes to her when you die, either through probate or via a beneficiary deed. This, in turn, will minimize any capital gains tax they would probably have to pay if they ultimately decide to sell the property.

Capital gains tax is assessed on the difference between the initial purchase price or value of a property and the property’s sales price. The “step up” moves the home’s value up to what it was worth on the date of your death, not when you first acquired it.  

If you’ve owned the property for some considerable time, the stepped-up basis is probably significantly more than what you paid for it, which is a good thing. It means there will be less of a difference between that value and the sales price, and that means less paid in capital gains tax.

The home will not receive a step-up in basis after your death if you create a joint tenancy with your child by making a new deed during your lifetime. They would have to inherit the home instead. Otherwise, your child would owe capital gains tax based on what the property was worth when you initially bought it.

Potential Problems With Joint Tenancies

You won’t be able to sell the property, refinance the mortgage, or take out a new mortgage without your child’s consent if you give him partial ownership in a joint tenancy deed. These actions require the consent of all owners.

Worse, your child could legally sell his interest in the property to a third party, perhaps to a stranger, without your consent if you don’t word the deed correctly.

If your child ends up with a tax lien, creditor problems, or in divorce court, the government, creditor, or his ex-spouse can claim your home or at least your child’s ownership share of it in a joint tenancy situation. In that situation, the entity can place a lien on your property and attempt to force its sale to collect on its debt.

You’ll also make a transfer of an asset that will delay Medicaid eligibility if you apply for assistance within five years after creating a joint tenancy deed. You’ve effectively given a portion of your property away, which can affect the timing of eligibility.  

What Should You Do?

Although many of these potential problems can be avoided by using a beneficiary deed instead, this option might not be available where you live. Creating a joint tenancy deed with your child instead can be tricky business, so you might want to consult with an experienced attorney to weigh the unique pros and cons involved in your particular situation.

Don’t Forget to File the Deed

Whichever option you use, it’s not just a matter of drawing up a new deed, signing it, and sticking it in your desk drawer or safe deposit box. You’ll also want to file it with your county recorder of deeds to make sure that it’s a matter of public record.

Q. My wife and I are retired and want to leave our home to our two boys unless we sell it. We want to add their names to our deed. Does this mean that we as owners incur no changes in our property taxes or other home obligations? We do not want them to have to deal with any paperwork or expenses but we want to avoid probate without opening a trust. What do we need to know?

A. We’re glad to see you’re planning ahead, and there are a lot of consequences to consider.

By adding your sons’ names to the deed, you are making a gift of an ownership interest in your home.

You are permitted to gift $15,000 per year per person without using any of your federal lifetime and death exemption, which is currently $11.58 million, said Catherine Romania, an estate planning attorney with Witman Stadtmauer in Florham Park.

If you gift more than that, you will use a portion of your exemption, but you will not need to pay a tax, she said. You will need to file the IRS Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return by April 15th of the year following the year you make the gift unless you obtain an extension.

If you transfer property during life by gift, the donee obtains the property gifted — or percentage of the property gifted — with the donor’s basis, she said.

“Thus, for example, if you and your spouse purchased your home for $250,000 and made $50,000 of improvements so that the home’s basis is now $300,000, and gifted a one-half interest to your two sons, their basis in the 25% interest in the home would be $75,000 each,” Romania said. “Basis is different than the value of the gift.”

To effectuate the gift to your sons, you and your wife would need to execute a new deed, Romania said.

The deed would be from you and your wife to you, your wife and your sons, indicating the ownership percentage and whether the ownership is with rights of survivorship. The deed should be recorded in the county clerk’s office where the property is located, she said.

Because you and your wife still live in the home and pay the real estate taxes, you may still take the deduction. However, when you sell the home, your sons will have to sign the paperwork as owners along with you and your wife, and you and your wife will only receive one half of the proceeds because you now only own half the home, she said.

“Moreover, because the home is not your sons’ primary residence, they do not qualify to exclude any gain from the sale and thus have to report any capital gain from the sale of the home,” she said. “Of course, they can gift back to you the net proceeds from the sale and file the proper gift tax returns, but that will only make you almost whole.”

Although you do not want them to have to deal with paperwork, there will be paperwork with the transfers, Romania said.

Also keep in mind that transferring real estate during lifetime may affect your ability to obtain Medicaid benefits if the transfer is made during the five-year look-back period, she said.

“If you transfer property at death, the beneficiary obtains the property at the date of death value and thus if it is sold at that value, there is no capital gain to report by the beneficiary,” Romania said. “Moreover, if you sell it during your lifetime, there is no need to be concerned about your sons being owners and being involved with the paperwork and receiving one half the proceeds.”

Romania said probate in New Jersey is not a cumbersome process, in particular if you have a properly executed will. Plus, probate or administration will be necessary if you have any property that passes without a beneficiary designation or by operation of law.

“Probate is also not costly; in fact, the cost of probating a will in New Jersey is probably roughly the same as the cost of recording a deed,” she said. “Placing the property in a revocable trust would avoid probate and provide you with the other benefits you are seeking.”

Email your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com’s weekly e-newsletter.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

Disclaimer

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21).

© 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.

Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.

How to add someone to the title of a house -Filing a Quit Claim Deed or Warranty Deed in Arizona

One of the services offered at Arizona Statewide Paralegal is the filing of a quit claim deed or warranty deed in order to add someone to the title of a house. In this article I will discuss more about the difference between the two types of deeds and the process we use for filing your deed.

What is a Deed?

When you own property you have what is called a legal “interest” in that property. Title refers to your ownership of the property. Evidence of that ownership is shown in the deed. A deed is a written document that transfers property ownership from one person or entity to another person or entity.

A quit claim deed transfers your property interest to another person or legal entity. When you sign a quit claim deed you do make any guarantees or promises about whether or not someone else also has a legal interest in the property. You are merely signing over your legal interest, if any, in the property. You are the grantor (giving the interest) and the person who receives your interest is the grantee. Quit claim deeds are often mistakenly called “quick” claim deeds.

Warranty Deed Vs. Quit Claim Deed

When you use a warranty deed, you are saying to the grantee that you guarantee that no one else has any legal interest or right to the property. You are providing a promise or warranty that the property is free and clear. Both types of deeds transfer ownership of a property from one person to another. However, by signing a warranty deed the grantor guarantees that there are no liens against the property.

The deed to your property specifies the type of ownership you have. For example, you may have sole ownership of the property, joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, tenancy in common, community property, community property with the right of survivorship, or a beneficiary deed. For informational purposes only, here are the definitions for each type of ownership.

Sole ownership is fairly straightforward. It means you are the only owner of the property. Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship is when two or more people have ownership of the property and when one of the owners dies, the property right transfers directly to the other owner who is still alive. Tenancy in common is when two or more individuals own property but each owner has a separate interest in the property with no right of survivorship. Community property is available only to individuals who are married to each other. They each own an undivided half interest in the property. Community property with the right of survivorship is also only available to individuals married to each other. When one spouse dies, the other spouse is entitled to both halves of the property. With a beneficiary deed, the owner records a deed that conveys the property when he or she dies to whomever is named as the beneficiary in the deed.

Quit claim deeds are most often used to transfer property rights between family members. For example, a quit claim deed might be used in a divorce where one spouse receives the family home as part of the divorce property settlement. Parents might use a quit claim deed when transferring property to their children. When getting remarried, a spouse might use a quit claim deed to add the new spouse to the property title. Quit claim deeds are also used when setting up a living trust.

Warranty deeds are most often used in a sale of a home between two unrelated parties. It is also one of the most commonly used deeds. A warranty deed is preferred by most title companies over a quit claim deed especially when refinancing a loan.

Once you have decided which deed you want to use to transfer ownership to property, you’ll need to gather some information to get started on the process with Arizona Statewide Paralegal. We will need to get all of your information, including how to contact you. If you have a copy of the most recent deed it is helpful as we need to provide the proper legal description. The information you provide should be from the most recently recorded deed. If the property is in Pima County we can locate the deed if it was recorded after 1986.

Arizona law has certain requirements for quit claim and warranty deeds. You need to include the grantor’s name. The grantor is the person or persons who owns the property. You will also need to include the grantee’s name. You can choose more than one person as your grantee or another legal entity. You will also need to include the legal description of your property. Make sure and use the legal description on the deed. This is the full legal description. If you use the legal description from your property tax statement, it may not be complete and it is possible that your quit claim or warranty deed will be rejected by the assessor.

You will then choose how the grantees will hold title to the property. You can choose as sole and separate property, joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, tenants in common, or community property with right of survivorship. When using the warranty deed or quit claim deed you also need to specify the exemption you are using that will allow you to file a deed when no money has changed hands.

According to the Arizona Revised Statues (ARS) 11-1133, the county recorder shall refuse to record any deed and any contract relating to the sale of real property if a complete affidavit of legal value is not appended unless the instrument bears a notation indicating an exemption. The most common exemptions are husband and wife (ARS 11-1134-B3), parent and child (ARS 11-1134-B3), pursuant to a court order (ARS 11-1134-A5), a gift (ARS 11-1134-A7), or person and trustee/trustee to beneficiary (ARS 11-1134-B8). In all, Arizona law has over 14 exemptions listed that do not require you to complete an affidavit of legal value when filing your warranty or quit claim deed.

If either the grantors or grantees are a trust then Arizona Revised Statutes A.R.S 33-404 require that the names and addresses of the beneficiaries and the names of the trustees are disclosed on the deed.

Arizona Statewide Paralegal offers the convenience of submitting all of this information on-line. We use a secure on-line system that allows you to complete all the steps necessary for us to prepare your quit claim or warranty deed. Once we have received all of your information, we will prepare the deed for your signature. Because you must sign as the grantor in front of a notary, we offer in office signing in Tucson, Phoenix, and Mesa. We then file the deed with the proper county recorders office. Because we have experience in all counties in Arizona we will ensure the correct process is followed.

You can also contact our office directly for an in-person appointment or consultation. We are certified by the Arizona Supreme Court for legal document preparation. Beyond just preparing your documents, we also provide complete case management for your legal document preparation. We go a step further, to ensure that your experience with us and most importantly your experience with your legal matter exceed your expectations.

How to add a spouse to a deed

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links from which we receive a compensation (like Amazon for example). But they do not affect the opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is an independent, award-winning consumer publication established in 2006. Our finance columns have been reprinted on MSN, Yahoo Finance, US News, Business Insider, Money Magazine, and Time Magazine.

Like many news outlets our publication is supported by ad revenue from companies whose products appear on our site. This revenue may affect the location and order in which products appear. But revenue considerations do not impact the objectivity of our content. While our team has dedicated thousands of hours to research, we aren’t able to cover every product in the marketplace.

For example, Wise Bread has partnerships with brands including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and Amazon.

  • Travel Rewards Credit Cards
  • Cash Back Credit Cards
  • 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Sharing is caring — at least that’s what has been drilled into our minds. And for the most part, it’s true.

However, if you’re contemplating making the ultimate step in sharing — adding someone to the deed on your home — it’s a good idea to consider the consequences. It’s important to understand that when you add someone to your deed, you are entitling them to the same “bundle of rights” — control, enjoyment, possession, exclusion and disposition — that you have as a property owner. Before adding a loved one to your deed, it’s important that you speak to an estate attorney and your mortgage lender to ensure you understand your rights, and to determine if this is the right move for you.

Here are five things you should consider before adding someone to your deed.

1. You can’t take it back

When you add someone to the deed, all or a portion of your ownership is transferred to that person. Once it’s done, you can’t take it back unless the person you’ve added provides consent to be removed from the deed. He or she can take out a loan on the property, tear it down, or even sell their share of the property. And in some cases, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Even if you transfer only a portion of your interest in the property, that person will have full control of their portion and may be able to force a sale of the property. If you want to refinance or sell your home, you must get permission from the individual you’ve added. This can lead to time consuming and costly legal battles that can tie up the property for years. Make sure you fully understand the implications and consequences before you sign on the dotted line.

2. You need permission from the lender

The law doesn’t forbid adding people to a deed on a home with an outstanding mortgage. Mortgage lenders are familiar and frequently work with deed changes and transfers. Most lenders incorporate a loan “due-on-sale clause,” which gives them the ability to call in the loan if the deed is transferred or if the home is sold. When you “deed” your home to someone, you’ve effectively transferred part ownership, which could activate the “due-on-sale” clause.

It is imperative that you understand the rules governing your particular situation. And you should obtain permission from your mortgage lender before adding someone to the deed. (See also: Why You Should Call Your Mortgage Lender Every Year)

3. Exposure to additional liability

Let’s say you decide to add your brother to the deed. If he fails to pay taxes and incurs a tax lien, has problems with creditors, or goes through a nasty divorce, the IRS, his creditors, or his ex-spouse can lay claim to your home, or at least to his portion. In that situation, the entity owed can place a lien on your property and attempt to force a sale to collect the debt or tie up the property and prevent you from selling.

Adding someone to the deed of your home can also generate income tax liabilities when the residence is sold in the future.

4. IRS gift taxes may apply

When you add someone to your deed, the IRS sees it as a gift. That person becomes subject to IRS regulations concerning gifts. As of 2018, the IRS allowable gift limit is $15,000 annually, per person. Gifts that exceed this amount are subject to the gift tax.

The important take away here is that you should ensure you consult a tax attorney or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) before you add someone to your deed to ensure that you understand all of the implications and don’t run into any surprises down the road. Your good intentions can be costly if not accompanied by due diligence. (See also: 4 Things You Need to Know About Gift Tax)

5. It can get complicated

There are so many hidden risks and pitfalls to adding someone to the deed. Remember, you become a joint owner rather than the exclusive owner. This change can impact your eligibility to sell or refinance. And for older homeowners near retirement age, transferring assets can adversely affect Medicaid eligibility.

Another thing to consider is that adding someone to the deed does not make them responsible for the debt. Unless the original loan agreement is modified, you are still solely responsible for repayment and the other person has ownership rights.

Like this article? Pin it!

How to add a spouse to a deed

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links from which we receive a compensation (like Amazon for example). But they do not affect the opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is an independent, award-winning consumer publication established in 2006. Our finance columns have been reprinted on MSN, Yahoo Finance, US News, Business Insider, Money Magazine, and Time Magazine.

Like many news outlets our publication is supported by ad revenue from companies whose products appear on our site. This revenue may affect the location and order in which products appear. But revenue considerations do not impact the objectivity of our content. While our team has dedicated thousands of hours to research, we aren’t able to cover every product in the marketplace.

For example, Wise Bread has partnerships with brands including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and Amazon.

Q. My wife and I are retired and want to leave our home to our two boys unless we sell it. We want to add their names to our deed. Does this mean that we as owners incur no changes in our property taxes or other home obligations? We do not want them to have to deal with any paperwork or expenses but we want to avoid probate without opening a trust. What do we need to know?

A. We’re glad to see you’re planning ahead, and there are a lot of consequences to consider.

By adding your sons’ names to the deed, you are making a gift of an ownership interest in your home.

You are permitted to gift $15,000 per year per person without using any of your federal lifetime and death exemption, which is currently $11.58 million, said Catherine Romania, an estate planning attorney with Witman Stadtmauer in Florham Park.

If you gift more than that, you will use a portion of your exemption, but you will not need to pay a tax, she said. You will need to file the IRS Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return by April 15th of the year following the year you make the gift unless you obtain an extension.

If you transfer property during life by gift, the donee obtains the property gifted — or percentage of the property gifted — with the donor’s basis, she said.

“Thus, for example, if you and your spouse purchased your home for $250,000 and made $50,000 of improvements so that the home’s basis is now $300,000, and gifted a one-half interest to your two sons, their basis in the 25% interest in the home would be $75,000 each,” Romania said. “Basis is different than the value of the gift.”

To effectuate the gift to your sons, you and your wife would need to execute a new deed, Romania said.

The deed would be from you and your wife to you, your wife and your sons, indicating the ownership percentage and whether the ownership is with rights of survivorship. The deed should be recorded in the county clerk’s office where the property is located, she said.

Because you and your wife still live in the home and pay the real estate taxes, you may still take the deduction. However, when you sell the home, your sons will have to sign the paperwork as owners along with you and your wife, and you and your wife will only receive one half of the proceeds because you now only own half the home, she said.

“Moreover, because the home is not your sons’ primary residence, they do not qualify to exclude any gain from the sale and thus have to report any capital gain from the sale of the home,” she said. “Of course, they can gift back to you the net proceeds from the sale and file the proper gift tax returns, but that will only make you almost whole.”

Although you do not want them to have to deal with paperwork, there will be paperwork with the transfers, Romania said.

Also keep in mind that transferring real estate during lifetime may affect your ability to obtain Medicaid benefits if the transfer is made during the five-year look-back period, she said.

“If you transfer property at death, the beneficiary obtains the property at the date of death value and thus if it is sold at that value, there is no capital gain to report by the beneficiary,” Romania said. “Moreover, if you sell it during your lifetime, there is no need to be concerned about your sons being owners and being involved with the paperwork and receiving one half the proceeds.”

Romania said probate in New Jersey is not a cumbersome process, in particular if you have a properly executed will. Plus, probate or administration will be necessary if you have any property that passes without a beneficiary designation or by operation of law.

“Probate is also not costly; in fact, the cost of probating a will in New Jersey is probably roughly the same as the cost of recording a deed,” she said. “Placing the property in a revocable trust would avoid probate and provide you with the other benefits you are seeking.”

Email your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com’s weekly e-newsletter.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

Disclaimer

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21).

© 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.

Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.

How to add a spouse to a deed

Related Articles

  • Tenancy in Common Pros & Cons
  • Can You Sell a Home if the Other Borrower Does Not Want To?
  • Tenants in Common Disadvantages
  • How to Deed Property From Joint Tenants With the Right of Survivorship to Tenants in Common
  • Whose Name Should Be on the Deed?

Putting someone on your deed has its advantages and disadvantage. Make sure you have very sound reasons for doing this because it cannot be reversed without the consent of the new owner – the individual you have given title to. If one of the reasons you want to add a family member or a friend to your deed is to avoid probate, talk to your attorney or a tax accountant before you make this move.

What Rights Are Conveyed by Deed?

Ownership of real property is called “title.” The deed represents that title, and it carries with it certain rights, among them the rights of possession, control, exclusion, enjoyment and disposition. These are commonly called the “bundle of rights.”

When you convey partial title to someone else, you give that person the same “bundle of rights” that you are entitled to. You would typically use a quitclaim deed or a special warranty deed to add someone to your title, depending on your jurisdiction. These deeds make no warranties or guarantees with respect to title. They merely convey whatever interests you have in the property to the grantee – if you have any interest to convey at all.

Advantage: Easy Transfer With no Probate

Shared ownership between spouses provides a level of protection for the surviving spouse should something happen. Likewise, an elderly person who wants to avoid the expense of probating his home may consider adding a family member or friend to the deed. There are certain types of vesting of ownership you can convey, including joint tenancy with right of survivorship or tenants in common. Before deciding on how you want title to vest in the new owner, consult your attorney or accountant. There may be tax ramifications connected to certain conveyances, including an increase in your property tax, and not all tenancies convey rights of survivorship. This means that your co-owner can leave her share of the property to someone else in the event of her death. You could find yourself owning your property with someone you don’t like or don’t even know.

Disadvantage: Loss of Control

Partial ownership to your home, once conveyed, cannot be revoked without that person’s consent. You lose some control of your property. If you want to refinance or sell it, you must obtain the permission of the new owner on the title. If he does not agree, your only recourse will be to seek redress with the court.

Disadvantage: Lender Permission Required

If you have a mortgage, your lender could refuse to allow you to add someone else to your deed. Most mortgages have a “due on sale clause” as one of the terms of the mortgage contract. In essence, the “due on sale clause” requires that the mortgage be paid in full should you attempt to sell or convey any interest in the property. Your lender may waive this provision if the conveyance is to a family member.

Disadvantage: Property Exposed to the Liability and Debt of Others

This may be the biggest disadvantage of all. A portion of your home could become accessible to attachment by your co-owner’s creditors without your consent or knowledge.

These disadvantages may be addressed either in the deed by imposing restrictions on further conveyances, or by a separate agreement. Discuss with your attorney exactly what you hope to accomplish by adding someone else to your deed before you act to avoid any unforeseen problems.

< if (sources.length) < this.parentNode.removeChild(sources[0]); >else < this.onerror = null; this.src = fallback; >>)( [. this.parentNode.querySelectorAll(‘source’)], arguments[0].target.currentSrc.replace(/\/$/, ”), ‘/public/images/logo-fallback.svg’ )” loading=”lazy”>

< if (sources.length) < this.parentNode.removeChild(sources[0]); >else < this.onerror = null; this.src = fallback; >>)( [. this.parentNode.querySelectorAll(‘source’)], arguments[0].target.currentSrc.replace(/\/$/, ”), ‘/public/images/logo-fallback.svg’ )” loading=”lazy”>

< if (sources.length) < this.parentNode.removeChild(sources[0]); >else < this.onerror = null; this.src = fallback; >>)( [. this.parentNode.querySelectorAll(‘source’)], arguments[0].target.currentSrc.replace(/\/$/, ”), ‘/public/images/logo-fallback.svg’ )” loading=”lazy”>

How to File Quitclaim Deeds Without Exchanging Money

Michigan laws allow an individual to add another person to their property deed through the use of a quitclaim deed. A quitclaim deed is used when a property owner wants to transfer ownership and all rights to a property to another individual or group of individuals. This is often used when a house is in one spouse’s name and the deed needs to be transferred to both spouses. A quitclaim deed has no effect on the mortgage on the property and in no way guarantees that the house is free of liens.

Have a quitclaim deed prepared by an attorney who is licensed to practice in Michigan. A quitclaim deed must meet all state statutes to be upheld. You can also purchase forms online using a reputable service like US Legal Forms. Forms purchased online will not accommodate special circumstances. If you situation is complicated, use a real estate attorney.

Fill in the names of the effected parties. The grantor is the individual giving up their rights. The grantee is the individual being added to the deed. In this case, the grantee will be both the grantor and the person being added to the deed.

Describe the Michigan property. Include the street address and a brief description of the property. Contact your county assessor to find the parcel number. Include this information as well.

Provide documentation for any monetary funds or goods that have changed hands in exchange for rights to the property.

Sign the documents. Only the grantor is legally required to sign the quitclaim deed. It is in both parties best interest if the document is signed by both the grantor and the grantee. This will help to resolve any potential disputes that may arise.

Record the documents. Contact the county assessor for your county in Michigan. Recording is not legally required, but makes the transaction easier to defend in court if the need should arise.

  • US Legal Forms: Michigan Quitclaim Deed
  • Law Help: Quitclaim Deeds
  • HG.org. “Contracts 101—Warranty vs Quitclaim Deeds.” Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
  • Realtor.com. “When Do You Need to Get a Quitclaim Deed?’ Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
  • DivorceNet. “Interspousal Transfers Versus Quit Claim Deeds.” Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
  • California State Board of Equalization. “Property Ownership and Deed Recording,” Page 7. Accessed Aug. 13, 2020.

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.