If you want to help your heirs avoid probate, you are far from unique. Many Americans go into estate planning with the main goal of keeping as much as possible away from the probate courts. Given that probate can take a very long time and be very expensive, it makes sense why this is the case.
However, not all ploys to avoid probate are equal. One such measure is putting your adult child on the deed to your property in an attempt to help the property avoid probate. If you do this, you risk potential legal ramifications regarding the property, as per InCharge.
How would this avoid probate?
If you decide to put your adult child’s name on the deed to your home, then you and your adult child will hold that property in joint tenancy. A benefit of joint tenancy is that if one owner of the property dies the other owner gets the property right away. The property does not need to go through probate in a joint tenancy situation.
Why should we not do this?
The moment that your adult child appears on the deed to your home is the moment that he or she owns the property just as much as you do. In the event that you want to sell or refinance the property, you will need the permission of your adult child to do so. In many instances, this causes severe family friction.
Putting your adult child on the deed to your home also opens your home to your child’s potential financial misadventures. For instance, if the IRS discovers that your adult child is behind on taxes, this puts your property at risk for a lien.