Congratulations! You just got married and now you want to add your new spouse to the title of your home.
Putting your spouse on title (adding them to the ownership) is a simple process. All you need to do is have a grant deed prepared, sign it in front of a notary public, and then have it recorded. The cost is usually under $100.
However, adding your new spouse to title may not be a straight forward financial decision; and when dealing with your assets there are five things you should consider.
1. Keeping Your Assets Intact, Just in Case
Some experts suggest waiting awhile before adding a new spouse to title of your new home. The reason is that the assets you have before marriage are your separate property. So in the event the relationship doesn’t work out, you will still have access to all of your prior assets
2. Buying Another Property? You May Still Qualify as a First Time Buyer
If you want to buy another property, it may help that your spouse does not share ownership of our current home. You may be able to take advantage of him or her qualifying for first time buyer status. If you are planning on buying property together, have a lender qualify you now to see how your spouse affects qualification.
3. Is it a 2nd marriage with children who might object?
If you have children from a prior marriage and you intend to give them the property after your passing, your children may be co-owners with your new spouse depending on how you chose to “hold title.” . Click here to download the PDF on How to Hold Title
If you are simply trying to ensure that your spouse is able to stay in the house in the event of your death, there are other vehicles to do so. For example, you could put in your will or trust that this is your wish.
Please contact an attorney for advice on this and your particular situation.
4. Does your new spouse have children that could have a claim should something happen to you?
If your new spouse has children from a previous marriage, then how you hold title could affect whether you become co-owners with them in the event that your spouse pre-deceases you.
5. Does your new spouse have creditors that could attach a lien to this new valuable asset?
Sometimes the person we love has credit we don’t love. If your new spouse has judgments or liens that are unpaid, those creditors can now attach a lien to the property and to force you to pay. They may also become inflexible when negotiating because they have access to an asset they know you do not want to lose. If this is the case, then I would definitely wait until the credit cleaned up.
Need some guidance? Be sure to take a look at my services page and contact me today for your complimentary 90-minute, no-obligation consultation. You can also sign up for my investment course for a personal learning experience.