Can you adding someone’s name to a deed without the other co-owner’s consent?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can you adding someone’s name to a deed without the other co-owner’s consent?

Upon my husband’s death I added my daughter’s name to the deed of my home. I also want to add my son’s name but my daughter says no. Can I add my son to the deed without my daughter’s consent? I do owe 50% of the home.

Asked on April 24, 2019 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You may not add your son to the deed as an equal owner, without your daughter's consent, since doing so would reduce your daughter's interest in the property (50%, as one of two owners) to 33% (as one of three), and you cannot reduce another person's ownership against their will.
If you and your daughter own the own as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or JTROS, you cannot add your son at all, since as JTROS, if you pass away, your daughter becomes sole owner--but if your son were added, that would not happen, substantially reducing her rights and the chance of her becoming 100% owner (since in this event, she'd only become sole owner if you and your son both passed away). Again, this can only be done with her consent.
If you and daughter are on the title as "tenants in common" however, so that you have separate 50% interests with no right of survivorship, you can give you son half of your own 50% interest, since doing so does not affect your daughter's 50% interest or rights. You will then own 25%; your daughter will own 50%; and you son will own 25%.
The time to have added him as an equal owner without requiring anyone's consent was when you added your daughter; you should have added your son at the same time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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