Have you ever had a neighbor or a friend tell you to make it simple and just add your child’s name to the deed of your house? When you die the home will pass automatically to the child without the need for probate. Well that is true. If you add your child to the title of your house as a joint tenant with rights of survivorship at your death, your home will immediately transfer to your child and avoid probate…but, what about when you are living? What risks do you face by adding another person’s name to the deed to your home? What if your child get sued or becomes ill? The child’s creditors can come after your home to settle the lawsuit or medical bills. What if you want to sell or mortgage the home? You will have to get your child’s permission to do that. And what if your child does not think that selling or financing the home is a good idea? Your child can prevent you from doing that! I have even encountered a situation where a child sued his parent to force a sale of the parent’s home.
Although joint tenancy offers some short-term solutions, in the long run it poses a host of problems that can cost you many times the expense and headaches you thought you were going to avoid. There are other ways to ensure your child or children inherit your home while avoiding probate and without exposing yourself to their problems.
Come to one of our informative estate planning seminars to find out the best solutions for you and your family. Then you may have some good advice to share with your friend!
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