+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    veger is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    12

    Should I put wifes name on house deed?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? TN

    I am engaged & my fiance wants me to put her name on the deed of my house as soon as we get married, although I bought and financed it myself using my own money for the downpayment.

    Is that a standard practice for homeowners who get married?

    What rights would that give her (in unlikely event of divorce) beyond the rights that come with marriage?
  2. #2
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    South Cackalacky
    Posts
    15,365
    Quote Originally Posted by veger View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? TN

    I am engaged & my fiance wants me to put her name on the deed of my house as soon as we get married, although I bought and financed it myself using my own money for the downpayment.

    Is that a standard practice for homeowners who get married?

    What rights would that give her (in unlikely event of divorce) beyond the rights that come with marriage?
    Not quite "standard". But, it would give her the right to fight over the home should you ever get divorced, without ever having her name on the mortgage. She's smart, that one! LOL
    My new signature:
    Originally Posted by arazi
    I'll take you on one-to-one in a volcabulary test anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
  3. #3
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    631
    You would most probably be gifting her 1/2 the house. A more reasonable solution might be to see an attorney who can create a living trust. You then fund the trust with the house and make her the beneficiary if you die. (Avoids probate.)
  4. #4
    latigo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,645
    Obviously you have some reservations about divesting yourself of full ownership of your sole and separately owned home or you wouldn’t be asking these questions. And I think wisely so.

    If the only reason you would comply with your fiancée’s demands were to pacify her; perhaps it would be well to consider her motives in entering into the engagement. Because what she is asking of you should not be made a condition to a marriage nor it is a “standard practice’ among newly weds.

    As opposed to gifting away one’s separate property, more common and sensible, where the parties to be wed have accumulated separate property is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement that retains the sole and separate character of those pre-owned assets.

    And that philosophy has been somewhat adopted by all 50 states having passed divorce statutes that give full recognition to the respective spouse’s separate property.

    It is of course your decision, but if you came to my office asking that I draw a quitclaim deed to your wife for one half of the home or any part of it, you’d have to go elsewhere because I would refuse to do it.

    And the last thing you should consider doing is to take HW’s amateur advice and place the home in a revocable living trust!

    Why would you want to transfer the ownership of your home to a trustee and lose control of it? You could neither sell it nor refinance the mortgage without entirely undoing the living trust documents and have the trustee deed it back to you. And that takes time and money. I have done that for clients that were duped into entering into those attorney-created-schemes and it is an absolute senseless headache to unwind them

    You could readily provide security for your future wife by a will, which you can change when and as you wish. If she weren’t agreeable to accepting that as an alternative, I would take a hard look at the relationship.
  5. #5
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    631
    And the last thing you should consider doing is to take HW’s amateur advice and place the home in a revocable living trust!

    Why would you want to transfer the ownership of your home to a trustee and lose control of it?
    The OP could be the trustee and have full control over the property. This is the normal way it's done.

    You could neither sell it nor refinance the mortgage without entirely undoing the living trust documents and have the trustee deed it back to you.
    Some banks require this. If the trustee is the previous owner it's just a matter of a couple of quit claim deeds. It's not a problem or much of a hassle and is done all the time. There is no "undoing" of the trust, let alone entirely.

    And that takes time and money. I have done that for clients that were duped into entering into those attorney-created-schemes and it is an absolute senseless headache to unwind them.
    Just have escrow do it. It's not a practice of law with your instructions and many states have a reduced or no fee for the recordation.
    You could readily provide security for your future wife by a will, which you can change when and as you wish.
    Just as you could with a Revocable Living Trust. Plus, an RLT doesn't need to go through probate and the expenses stemming from that.

    I am uncertain of Latigo's advice to an extreme extent. One of us is missing something. A revocable living trust is a common estate planning tool and far better when dealing with real property then a will. Control is not lost in any way and probate is avoided.
  6. #6
    latigo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,645
    Every time I come across one of HW’s profound bootstrap answers I get miserable thinking of all the time and expense of tuition, board and room that I squandered in getting through undergraduate and law school and the years it took me to find my way around a courtroom when now it is all there at the touch of the pinkies through the worldwide web!

    Is there any chance of me trading in my doctorate for a google law diploma?
  7. #7
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    631
    I believe I have pointed out what I believe are specific errors in your post regarding some relative merits in this particular situation. Your response seems to fall under the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. Would you care to address the salient points or shall we begin the tiresome game of bon mots once again?
  8. #8
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    South Cackalacky
    Posts
    15,365
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyWanderer View Post
    The OP could be the trustee and have full control over the property. This is the normal way it's done.

    Some banks require this. If the trustee is the previous owner it's just a matter of a couple of quit claim deeds. It's not a problem or much of a hassle and is done all the time. There is no "undoing" of the trust, let alone entirely.

    Just have escrow do it. It's not a practice of law with your instructions and many states have a reduced or no fee for the recordation.
    Just as you could with a Revocable Living Trust. Plus, an RLT doesn't need to go through probate and the expenses stemming from that.

    I am uncertain of Latigo's advice to an extreme extent. One of us is missing something. A revocable living trust is a common estate planning tool and far better when dealing with real property then a will. Control is not lost in any way and probate is avoided.
    The OP could lose his rights as the trustee. Being the trustee would not get the OP around having to undo the trust in order to refinance the house. I had a customer's insurance agent argue this with me a few months ago. Last week the insurance agent came back and needs to rework everything because the trust doesn't have an income, and can't refinance the house. And the beneficiaries who live in the house, but don't own the house, can't refinance the house because it's not in their name. How do you have "escrow" do what you're suggesting? Just asking.

    This very thing came across my desk, and I'm not a lawyer. Far from it. And now the insurance agent, the insured, the attorney for the trust, the attorney for the beneficiary, and the underwriters are all trying to figure out what the hell to do. So the beneficiaries can refinance the house they live in.
    My new signature:
    Originally Posted by arazi
    I'll take you on one-to-one in a volcabulary test anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
  9. #9
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    631
    The OP could lose his rights as the trustee
    How? In a properly-worded revocable living trust, the trustee (who is usually the grantor) is in no greater danger as losing his rights as the trustee then the grantor would have to lose his rights as an owner in the first place.
    Being the trustee would not get the OP around having to undo the trust in order to refinance the house.
    This is completely untrue. The trust is not the property in the trust. Property can be placed in and removed from the trust. I agree many banks require removal for financing. However, federal law prevents them from assessing any penalty (like calling the loan) for a person to place the property back into the trust after financing is complete. There is not an "undo"ing of the trust, but a removal of the property from the trust and then a refunding of the trust with the property. It is a very common thing which is done. Very. Common.

    Last week the insurance agent came back and needs to rework everything because the trust doesn't have an income, and can't refinance the house. And the beneficiaries who live in the house, but don't own the house, can't refinance the house because it's not in their name. How do you have "escrow" do what you're suggesting?
    From [url=http://www.ronrunkle.com/real%20estate%20own%20home.htm]Law Office of Ron Runkle[/url]

    5. What if I presently have a mortgage against my home? Will transferring the home to a revocable living trust or a land trust allow the lender to call the loan due (meaning that the lender can demand full immediate payment of the loan)?

    A 1982 federal law (the Garn/St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 – 12 U.S.C. section 1701j-3) states that you may transfer your principal residence to a trust and you will not have to pay off the loan as long as (a) you continue to reside in the home as your principal residence, (b) you are the beneficiary of the trust.

    6. What if I presently have a mortgage against the property which is not my principal residence (such as a vacant lot, commercial real estate, or a rental property), and I transfer the property into a trust? Can the lender demand that I pay off the loan?

    If you transfer property to your trust which isn’t your principal residence, then hypothetically the lender can demand full payment. I haven’t heard of this happening so far, but it is a possibility. If you desire, you can contact the lender and explain what you plan to do, and ask the lender to sign a document stating that the lender won’t demand full payment if you transfer the property into a revocable trust (or a land trust).

    7. What if we decide to refinance and the property is in a revocable living trust or a land trust?

    If you refinance, the lender will probably want you to take the property out of trust before you refinance – which is done by you signing a deed and recording the deed with the county recorder. Then after you complete the refinance, you can put the property back into trust by signing another deed and recording that deed. This of course does cost some money to have the deeds prepared and record the deeds.
    This very thing came across my desk, and I'm not a lawyer. Far from it. And now the insurance agent, the insured, the attorney for the trust, the attorney for the beneficiary, and the underwriters are all trying to figure out what the hell to do. So the beneficiaries can refinance the house they live in.
    On a living trust? Why doesn't the trust distribute the home to the beneficiary who then transfers it back to the trust? A good blog on some of the problems of RLTs (and how the attorney deals with them) can be seen at:
    [url=http://www.ncestateplanningblog.com/articles/estate-planning/trusts/living-trusts/]Living Trusts : North Carolina Estate Planning Blog[/url]

    Or a quick snippet of a Nolo book at:
    [url=http://books.google.com/books?id=2z7rBG8N9WgC&pg=PT42&lpg=PT42&dq=refinance+residence+%22living+trust%22&source=bl&ots=MtIZQ Tjw49&sig=onz8VCYCUHASqeSNgTcMVgISxIs&hl=en&ei=1EAyS8DqOJL0sgPqgsDIBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result& resnum=6&ved=0CCEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=refinance%20residence%20%22living%20trust%22&f=false]Make Your Own Living Trust - Google Books[/url]

Similar Threads

  1. ex wifes house
    By shockergeek in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 07-20-2011, 01:26 PM
  2. father divorced but ex wifes name is still on the house
    By islandsxm in forum Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Other Family Law Matters
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-16-2010, 01:37 PM
  3. How to add wifes house to deed when there are children from previous marriage?
    By veger in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-19-2009, 04:08 PM
  4. wifes on her ma's house title and bank accounts BUT:
    By wldblll in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-19-2009, 02:37 PM
  5. Unrecorded Deed-No Deed-Who's House?
    By Poorboy in forum Other Real Estate Law Questions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-06-2000, 04:21 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.