How can I add my adult children to my deed?


Q. I am a widow and nearly 70 with reasonable health. I want to make everything smoother for later. How can I add adult children to my deed? I have four years to go on my mortgage. And what would it mean if I sell the house in four years?
— Dad

A. We’re glad you want to make things easier for your heirs.

But whether you should add your children to your deed isn’t a simple question.

First, a new deed can be drafted to add an adult child’s name as a co-owner of the property, said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.

The mortgage company should also be notified of the new co-owner, she said.

“If the adult child does not live in the house, only the parent will receive the benefit of the $250,000 lifetime exclusion from capital gains taxes when the house is sold,” she said.

But would this move be smart for your overall estate plan? It depends. Because there are many moving parts here, you should consult with an elder law attorney to determine whether this would be the best choice for you.

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This story was originally published on Nov. 14, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.