If I’m in the process of buying a new construction home, can I add my kids’ names to make sure they are entitled to it if I die?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I’m in the process of buying a new construction home, can I add my kids’ names to make sure they are entitled to it if I die?

I just got the contract from the seller for a new home construction. I also have another home which we are still paying mortgage, should I add my kids to that too? They are 18 and 13. If something happens to us will my kids be responsible in paying the mortgage? Should I hire an attorney before I sign the contract?

Asked on November 1, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are already in a contract, you cannot modify that contract to add your children as buyer's without the other party's consent; even if you don't already have a contract, the other side would have the right to decline to enter into a contract if they don't want your children as parties to it (e.g. if any child has a debt issue or any relevant criminal offenses in his/her past, has filed bankruptcy, or otherwise has done something which would make the seller not want to contract with them; or is too young and so either still a minor or simply at an age that suggests lack of responsibility, income, or assets). Also, if you are applying for a mortgage or loan for this new home, you would need the lender's approval, too--they don't have to give out a loan if the don't like the proposed parties to it or the proposed ownership of the property.
Finally, you can't add a 13-year old to a home contract or real estate title.
There are ways to give your children a protectable interest in the home, such as by having a will which sets up a trust for their benefit if anything happens to you and which trust then gets the home, particularly if you also provide funding for the trust to pay any mortgage, taxes, etc. Do speak with a attorney about what you want to accomplish and how best to do it, but given the situation and the ages of the children, it's probably not by just adding them to the property at this point.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption