Question: I am the executor of my father’s estate. I need a lawyer to draft the personal representative deed to the house. I understand that the estate will be distributing the house to me. Can my wife (who is not named in the will) also be named on the deed or is there any reason why only my name should be on the title?
Answer: The personal representative deed will need to transfer ownership of the property to you. You can then add your wife on the title, essentially making a gift to her of ½ of the ownership of the property. It is common for married couples to own a house as tenants by the entirety (in other words with rights of survivorship)
There are other implications to adding your spouse to the title. Before doing so, I recommend that you consult with an attorney to understand the consequences to adding her to the title. While it may be a great decision overall, it is important to understand all the ramifications.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please let me know.
ABOUT STEVE SHANE
Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.
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