How to get my son on my house deed, inheritance?

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How to get my son on my house deed, inheritance?

I want my home to pass on to my son,
how do I do this?

Asked on July 2, 2018 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There are several ways.
1) If the house is paid off, so there is no mortgage to contend with (mortgages generally have to be paid off before or in the process of transferring any interest in the home), you can do a quitclaim deed for 1/2 your interest to your son. That will make him 1/2 owner NOW, which means if you sell, he gets 1/2 the proceeds; he can block you from selling (you would need his consent to sell); he can move in or move a friend, significant other, etc. Think carefully before you do this: giving up 1/2 ownership and conrol over your property is a signficant step.
2) If you want him to have the whole house, but you be able to stay there as long as you like, again, if the mortgage is paid off so that's not an impediment, you can give him a "remainder interest" while you keep a "life estate": that is, you can stay there as long as you like, and son gets the house without it going through probate when you pass away (or voluntarily move out).
A real estate attorney can help with 1) or 2).
3) You can sell it to him at a favorable price (and also save on realtor's fees), so you'll get money for it. Obviously, he'd have to want to buy it and be able to afford it/qualify for a mortgage.
4) You can will it to him, so he'll inherit when you pass (a trusts and estate or probate lawyer can help draft the will). This is far and away the simplest thing to do, with the least impact on you.
5) You can put into a trust with you and him as beneficiaries (a trusts and estates lawyer can set this up)--this is the most complex of the options. It has some probate and tax advantages, but also some very real consequences (you have to designate a trustee; you no longer own or control your house--the trust does).
There are pros and cons to each techniques. Consult with a trusts and estate or estate planning attorney to see which makes sense for you and your son.


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