When a homeowner is the sole name on the title to a property as a result of either a death, a divorce or some other form of separation, a thought may arise to add another name on title. Adding another name on title may be the first thought that comes to mind. It may not be the best idea.
Once you add another name to the title, that person(s) now has (have) a say and must sign off on your decisions regarding the property. Basically you are now co-owners!
This may be okay if the co-owner is one of your heirs, however what if that person is married and resides in a community property state? Their spouse may need to sign off on the ownership of your property and may be a part of the decision process, whether you want them to be or not. For example, a son-in-law or daughter-in-law would now be in the mix of your decisions about your property.
So what’s my alternative?
In some states, the statutes allow for what is known by one of the following;
The purpose of this is that you can designate a person or persons to receive your property by deed upon your death. In this manner you maintain 100% control and do not need anyone’s approval to sell, refinance or make decisions on your home. The property would only transfer to the people you designate, by deed, after you have passed away.
You can transfer the property to your heirs using several different forms of “Vesting”, i.e., Joint Tenants, Community Property, Tenants in Common, etc. In other words, you can have your heirs have a specific percentage, an equal share, or all be together on title jointly.
The benefits to using this form of Deed, as the owner of the property, allows you to make decisions without the need for approval by others, and also avoids the probate process for your heirs after you have gone.
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