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

| Jan 17, 2021 | Firm News

One of the main aims behind many estate planning strategies is to avoid probate. There are multiple reasons to avoid probate, but probably number one is that it takes a long period of time. Plus, while your assets are in probate, your heirs cannot access them. 

Property, in particular, can take a very long time to get through probate. This is why some people decide to put their child on the deed to their home. However, this is almost never a good idea according to InCharge Debt Solutions. 

Why would this help avoid probate?

If you put your adult child on the deed to your home, you then become joint owners of the property. This is joint tenancy. One of the most salient aspects of joint tenancy is that when one of the joint owners dies, the other owner gets the property automatically. It will not go through probate. 

Why is this not a good idea?

The problem is that you have no preeminence as the first owner of the property or the person who inhabits the property assuming that your child does not live with you. The moment you put your adult child on the deed to your home, they own the home as much as you do. 

This can be very problematic if something happens in your child’s financial life. For instance, if the IRS goes after your child for back taxes, if you hold your in joint tenancy with your child the IRS may put a lien on your home. Usually, a better option to help your heirs avoid probate with your property is to use a trust.