Joint Tenancy: Should You Add Someone to Your House Deed?

Purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. Therefore, there is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not you should add a loved one to your deed. We will consider some of the advantages and reasons why people own deeds jointly as well as some of the liabilities and concerns associated with dual ownership.

House deed

There is a lot to consider before entering into joint tenancy

Advantages of Adding Someone to your House Deed

The main advantage of putting a spouse or loved on your house deed is that if anything were to happen to you, they as the joint owner would take full possession of the property, no questions asked. If you simply have your significant other in your will as recipient, they may have to deal with probate and tax complications. Likewise, an elderly person may wish to hold joint tenancy of their property with one of his or her family members to avoid the same issue. There are several ways to administer joint ownership of a home, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on your situation. You can read about the details of different kinds of joint ownership on our previous blog.

Possible Liabilities and Concerns of Joint Tenancy

To start with, depending you mortgage contract, you may not be able to add another person to your house deed without your lender’s permission or until the mortgage has been paid off. When you put another person on a deed, it is completely irreversible, and they hold the same right that you do over the property. You cannot sell the house without the other person’s consent. If issues of separation or divorce arise, complications over ownership will often require you to seek the intervention if the courts. In addition, if one person on a deed is in debt, their share of the house may be liable to lien by their creditors. In Maryland, it may be possible to avoid this using a type of joint ownership called Tenancy by the Entirety, which you can read more about here. Many of these complications can be avoided or mitigated with proper legal action, talk to your attorney if you wish to take precautions against issues with joint tenancy.


About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the Baltimore area. If you have any questions concerning issues that Baltimore title insurance protects you from, feel free to contact us at 410 884-1160 or visit today!

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