How should my husband and I list our names on the deed to our home to protect us from losing it in case someone ever tries to sue one of us?

My husband and I work in high liability fields. I need to know how to best list our names on our deed for our house to protect us from losing it in case someone ever tries to sue one of us.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no easy or simple answer, since asset protection is a highly complex issue, involving balancing risk, tax consequences (different ways of holding assets can affect taxes), what could or would happen in the event of a divorce or separation, and the ease with which you could "unwind" the protection and sell, transfer or liquidate the asset when you need to. You should speak with a trusts and estates attorney and probably with a tax-planner, too, to decide what steps will best meet your needs; look not just at the home, but consider all your assets, globally, and build a comprehensive plan.

That said, a few general thoughts:

1) If either or both of you work as consultants or independent contractors (not as employees), set up an LLC (limited liability company) and conduct the busines through the LLC--that will immediately help shelter personal assets from work-related liability.

2) Make sure you have extensive insurance, including possibly professional errors and omissions coverage.

3) If you have the leverage with your employers, see if they won't agree to indemnify or protect you from liability arising out of work.


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