Will putting my adult child on my house’s deed avoid probate?

Avoiding probate is often a main goal concerning estate planning. There are several reasons why avoiding probate is desirable. The main reason is that anything that that ends up getting sent to probate will not go to your heirs. Depending on the situation, this can potentially take years and be extremely expensive.

It is possible to have your property avoid probate and go instantaneously to your adult child upon your death, because you can put your adult child’s name on the deed. However, this could cause the financial life of your adult child to negatively impact your property. It is possible that you could lose your property this way.

How does this work?

The thrust of this plan relies on joint tenancy. Owning a house using joint tenancy with somebody else means that the moment one person dies the other person becomes 100% owner of that property. There is no probate involved here.

Why should we not do this?

The moment you put your adult child on the deed to your home, they have an equal stake in that property. It does not matter that you have owned the property as an independent entity for longer. It does not matter if you live on the property and your adult child does not. If your adult child divorces, for example, the courts might consider your home part of marital property. This means you could end up in a situation with your child ex spouse owning a part of your home.

The superior option is to put your home into a trust. Anything that you put in a trust will avoid probate, including property.



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